Community, Inclusion and Wellbeing

Enhancing students’ education and wider experience is the overarching goal of LSE’s Educate for Global Impact and the School is committed to fostering a greater sense of community, inclusion and wellbeing for all students.

On this page we share some key resources, events and approaches that can support individual staff, programme teams and departments in these areas.  

Building community in the classroom

Staff can bring practices and approaches to their classrooms that can develop community and build positive working relationships between students. These resources offer some ideas for class teachers: 

  • Dilemmas in small group teaching - These scenarios have been designed as a stimulus for thinking about a range of approaches and how these might apply to the context in which you teach.

  • Teaching sensitive topics - Subjects taught at LSE can impact on students’ sense of identity, values and beliefs. This page explores the affordances of teaching sensitive topics and offers teachers ideas for both planning and preparation and in-class approaches. 

  • Peer study groups - Peer study groups can help to foster a strong sense of community and belonging. This page provides initial guidance on how to establish peer study groups in order to encourage group interaction and support, particularly amongst new students and ease the transition period of students arriving at LSE.

  • These two resources explore ways to enhance and build student engagement in quantitative subjects: classroom discussions and student engagement.

  • The Autobiography of Intercultural Encounters is a response to the recommendations of the Council of Europe’s White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue “Living together as equals in dignity”.

  • Equity Unbound present strategies for creating online communities built on principles of equity and care that produce learning spaces in which all students can flourish.

  • In this blogpost for the LSE HE Blog four experienced academics and a student discuss how contentious issues emerge in the classes and seminars they teach (and attend) and how they approach them.

  • And here, Samuel Crutcher, winner of the student category of the LSE HE Blog’s Essays in Education award, argues that Higher education is failing neurodiverse students.

Student Recommendations

Research conducted by LSE students, through Change Makers, uncovered the benefits of seminars, but also some areas of struggle. The researchers highlighted teaching practices that could help with common problems.

Setting expectations and explicitly discussing seminar behaviour 

  • Staff can “[b]egin the term by explaining how they understand the purpose of seminars, how they approach leading them, and what behaviors they expect. Name and normalize common barriers (e.g., jumping in feels awkward, discussion moves on before you are ready to speak, fear of follow-ups). Explain what students can do when they hit these barriers (e.g., it’s okay to say, “I’d like to go back to that point about X”).” (Kohlmann

  • “Outlining classroom rules and protocol... having these rules posted in a common place such as Moodle where all can refer to them throughout the semester.” (Ducker

Varying the pace of seminar discussions

  • Using an “engagement silence” (waiting for a minute after asking a question): “This way students who speak English as a second language have some time to formulate their responses. Some students think very carefully before opening their mouths, and by the time they do, the topic has changed.” (Baez

  • “Consider starting each class with a whip around of mandatory brief comments.” (Kohlmann

  • “Teachers can “control” participation by suggesting other students who have not have the chance to talk to participate.” (Rizal

Making use of small group activities 

  • “Gradually moving from small group discussions to large ones. More introverted students or those who speak English as a second language feel more comfortable speaking in small groups at first.” (Baez

  • “Regular group projects: they provide a crucial space for forming relationships and friendships.” (Reiter

More findings on the LSE student experience, and suggestions for practice, are available in the Change Makers research archive, including studies on class participation, language barriers and office hours. 


Inclusive Education at LSE

Inclusive Education is teaching in ways that dismantle the dominant structures within higher education embedded in whiteness, able-bodied, elite and heteronormative culture. Explore the Inclusive Education website for further information on LSE’s commitment to inclusive education, or start with these resources and events:  

Academic mentoring

Academic mentoring is an int­­egral part of education at LSE and critical to building an inclusive scholarly community at the School for everyone. The Academic Mentoring Portal contains a wealth of information and support for students and staff. 

Working with postgraduate students

Fostering a sense of community, inclusion and wellbeing for postgraduate students can require different approaches and ideas. These resources can help us to think through our work as supervisors. 

Vitae provide a non-profit programme supporting the professional development of researchers. The Vitae Programme Resources: Supervising a Doctorate offers guidance on aspects of supervision, organised by the particular kinds of support students might need at different stages of the doctorate. 

The UK Council for Graduate Education is a non-profit organisation supporting the enhancement of UK postgraduate education. They have a range of helpful resources for supervisors, for example: 

Advance HE have produced a helpful report on perceptions of trust within supervisory relationships, with suggestions for more effective supervisory practice.  

Blogs and community resources  

There are a number of helpful websites and blogs which are regularly updated with reflections from both research students and supervisors:  


Wellbeing at LSE for students and staff

Find out more about the teams, services and support available to students

And remember it is also important to look after your own wellbeing. Find out more about what is available to staff members.