London Student

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London Student
London Student logo.svg
Type Student newspaper
Format Berliner
Owner(s) Independent cooperative
Founded 1979
Language English
Relaunched January 5, 2015 (2015-01-05)[1]

London Student is a student paper, originally the student newspaper of the University of London Union. It began publishing in 1979 and is the largest student-run newspaper in Europe (representing over 120,000 students). It is an editorially independent publication with ultimate control over content and appointments vested in the editorial team as a worker co-operative.[2]

It once distributed 12,500 copies fortnightly during termtime throughout the university year, equating to approximately 12 issues annually. This once made it the largest student newspaper in Europe[3] before it was shut down in July 2014. It was relaunched as a co-operative in January 2015, and now publishes online. The most recent print edition was a single issue published 1 October 2015.

Following its relaunch, London Student won Best Newcomer at the 2016 Student Publication Association (SPA) Awards.[4] London Student won Best Website at the 2017 SPA Awards and was Highly Commended for Best Use of Digital Media.[5]

Notable stories

In March 2006, the newspaper broke the story that the Mail on Sunday newspaper had offered student reporters money to infiltrate and record meetings of student Islamic societies in the wake of the London bombings of 7 July 2005. The report, headlined 'Nailed on Sunday', created some international media coverage, although the response in the UK was more muted. The Mail on Sunday responded by saying that they were investigating "a subject of great public interest" and had acted "responsibly", but did not deny the allegations.[6]

Also in spring 2006, the paper was one of few in the country to take a strong supportive stance of lecturers regarding the AUT and NATFHE (now UCU) joint strike action as they fought for better pay and conditions. The story led the paper from Christmas onwards, with the exception of the issue containing 'Nailed on Sunday'.

In October 2013, the paper broke the story that departing UCL Provost Malcolm Grant's leaving party cost the college over £17,000. The story was later picked up by local and national newspapers.[7]

In January 2018, London Student exposed the existence at UCL of secret conferences on eugenics and intelligence with notorious speakers including white supremacists.[8] The story was picked up by national papers, many crediting London Student in their reports.[9][10]


For many years, the newspaper was a red-top tabloid. This changed under Patrick Ward's editorship, with a transition toward a midmarket newspaper that better matched the more serious journalistic style of the paper's contributors. The cultural pullout section also returned, under the new name of 'Play'.

In 2012 the newspaper had to cut back due to funding difficulties with ULU, meaning the paper was condensed, with many sections shortened but none removed.

Play/The Smoke/Skirr

"Play" was the London Student's culture pullout section, replaced by "The Smoke" in 2013 and "Skirr" in 2015. It had various pages devoted to certain cultural coverage, including Music, Arts, Food, Theatre and Fashion, as well as often multidisciplinary features. Each section often gained access to national press events, previews and interviews with significant artists or people prominent within each cultural discipline: Roots Manuva, Park Chan-Wook, Iain Rankin, British Sea Power, Doug Stanhope, Ruby Tandoh, Michael Horovitz, Of Montreal, The Coen Brothers and They Might Be Giants were featured in previous issues of the magazine, among other notable figures.

Past editors of the sections have included Rena Minegishi, Emma Hope Allwood, Bryony Bowie, Jake-Pace Lawrie, Robert Kiely, Kate Vine, Rina Buznea, Peter Yeung, Jack Kirby and Matt Williamson. After the proposed closure of the University of London Union in the 2014/15 academic year, "The Smoke" became the final edition of London Student's cultural supplement. "Skirr" replaced it in 2015/16 under the editorship of then London Student co-editors Dea Gjinovci, Ben Jackson, Ed Ive, James Smith, and Donato Paolo Mancini.


College magazines, such as University College London's Pi, King's College London's Roar and Queen Mary, University of London's Cub, generally offer a different style of coverage to London Student, there is genuine competition in terms of breaking news from five college newspapers: Felix at Imperial College London, The Beaver at the London School of Economics, The Lion at Heythrop College and The Orbital and The Founder at Royal Holloway, University of London. Editions of the commercial The Sanctuary newspaper added marginally to competition at University College London and the London School of Economics during the academic year 2007-8.


Sennet was the direct predecessor of London Student. It was published from 1954. Its first three editors were Fred Allgood, Dinesh Kale and Peter Stamford. In1959 the editor was Jean Rook, later best known for her long association with the Daily Express where she was nicknamed the "first lady of Fleet Street".

Extensive, though incomplete, archives of both newspapers are held at both the University of London's library, and the British Library Newspaper section in Colindale.


  1. ^ "lsnews relaunch page". Retrieved 2016-01-17. [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "About London Student newspaper | London Student". 2015-01-05. Retrieved 2016-01-17.
  3. ^ Helena Horton. "Europe's largest student newspaper to close after union loses battle to save it | Education". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-01-17.
  4. ^ "#SPANC16 Award Winners Announced". Student Publication Association. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Full List of #SPANC17 Award Winners Announced". Student Publication Awards. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  6. ^ Day, Julia (10 March 2006). "MoS under fire from student press". The Guardian. London.
  7. ^ Burley, James (2013-09-18). "UCL Provost's leaving party costs nearly £18k". Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2016-01-17.
  8. ^ Van Der Merwe, Ben. "Exposed: London's eugenics conference and its neo-Nazi links". London Student. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  9. ^ Bennett, Rosemary. "University College London under fire over its conferences on 'eugenics'". The Times. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  10. ^ Rawlinson, Kevin; Adams, Richard. "UCL to investigate eugenics conference secretly held on campus". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2018.

External links

  • London Student website
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