London South Bank University (LSBU) is a public university in Elephant and Castle, London. It is based in the London Borough of Southwark, near the South Bank of the River Thames, from which it takes its name. Founded in 1892 as the Borough Polytechnic Institute, it achieved university status in 1992 under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992.

In September 2003, the university underwent its most recent name change to become London South Bank University (LSBU) and has since opened several new centres including the School of Health and Social Care, the Centre for Efficient and Renewable Energy in Buildings (CEREB), a new Student Centre, an Enterprise Centre, and a new media centre Elephant Studios. The university has 16,840 students and 1,700 staff.

In November 2016, the university was named the Entrepreneurial University of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards.[ In the inaugural 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework, London South Bank University was awarded a Silver rating.

Academic profile

The British painter David Bomberg taught Art at the Borough Polytechnic between 1945 and 1954.[25] One of the university’s halls of residence, David Bomberg House, carries his name and a handful of his works are on display at the University. Major paintings by Bomberg were acquired by the Tate Gallery after his death.

London South Bank University works in partnership with institutions in the UK, Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. It currently works closely with the Beijing Institute of Technology, Hunan University, Beijing University of Posts & Telecommunications, Northwestern Polytechnical University, and the National Academy of Education Administration. The collaborative educational programmes both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels have been running for over ten years with the Chinese partners. LSBU established the first Confucius Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2007.

National rankings
Complete (2022) 108
Guardian (2022) 113
Times / Sunday Times (2022) 127
Global rankings
QS (2022) 701–750
THE (2022) 1000+
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework Silver

Rankings and reputation

In November 2016, the university was named the Entrepreneurial University of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards.

The Guardians 2018 league table of teaching excellence ranked the university 92 out of 121 British institutions The Sunday Times‘ league table, measuring a number of different factors including teaching quality, research quality and employment rates, ranks the university 120th.[34] However, The Guardian rated LSBU joint 13th for law students.

In the inaugural 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework assessment which ranked the quality of undergraduate teaching across UK universities and applied either a bronze, silver or gold ranking, LSBU was awarded a “Silver” ranking.


70% of UK students at London South Bank University are Londoners. Students primarily come from the South London Boroughs of Southwark, Lambeth, Lewisham and Croydon, and the East London Borough of Newham. Around 12% of students from the EU and overseas, which equate to over 3,000 EU and other international students, from more than 130 countries. 56% of the student population are from ethnic minorities and over 80% of the students are classified as mature (21 or over when they start their course).