At 10pm UK-time on June 3rd Saturday evening, three attackers – identified by police as Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, and Youseff Zaghba – drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and launched a frenzied knife attack in the Borough Market area. Seven people were killed and 48 injured. The three attackers were shot dead by police.
The London School of Economics (LSE) has three student residences close to the London Bridge area where the recent attacks took place. In an open letter to LSE students and staff, LSE’s interim director professor Julia Black said:
“All too soon after the last such attack on our city and in the wake of the tragic bombing in Manchester, I am speaking for both myself and the rest of the School Management Committee in expressing horror and profound sadness at the awful events at London Bridge and Borough Market on Saturday night.
“We send our deepest condolences to the families of all those who died and to all those injured or otherwise affected by these terrible actions.
“London is LSE’s home, but it is so much more than that. This city is a living example of the characteristics and values that we hold dear at the School: diversity, tolerance and a passionately international outlook. I am confident that our unique community will continue to stand together in resolute solidarity, to ensure that these values shine ever more strongly in the weeks and months ahead.”
Like London itself, LSE stands defiant. A heavy police presence continues in the London Bridge area. LSE is offering a range of support services and counselling to its students.
The current threat level from international terrorism to the UK – raised to critical after the Manchester Arena bombing in May – is categorized as severe. LSE’s campus security team is being constantly updated by police.
UCL School of Management is based in Canary Wharf, London’s central finance and business district, and has a base on UCL’s central campus in Bloomsbury – where the Metropolitan Police have increased patrol officers by 30%. The UCL Security team has asked students and staff to consider the following while on campus:
“Is there a safe means of escape from the floor/building? If you were to leave the building, do you know where you would go, especially if your regular route was inaccessible?
“If you are unable to leave the building, is there somewhere safe you can hide (preferably ‘locking yourself in’ until the threat has gone)? Are you able to call for help?”
In a statement the school said:
“We would ask all staff and students to look out for anything that seems unusual. It may be nothing but if you see or hear anything that could be terrorist-related, trust your instinct, no matter how small, and inform UCL or Canary Wharf Security immediately.”
At ESCP Europe – which has six European campuses in London, Berlin, Madrid, Paris, Turin, and Warsaw – increasing campus security in London is a priority. In a message to students, London campus director Simon Mercado said:
“Stay united and brave during these hard times. Our community is the strongest token of solidarity and camaraderie. Support each other and keep a kind and uplifting spirit throughout all our campuses and embrace each other internationally. These incidents affect us all.
“Words are lacking to express our pain and sorrow. Each member of our ESCP Europe community feels shocked and abashed. But we have a strong European culture and we will always be united and with undivided support to all during these difficult ordeals.”
Is Simon concerned that international students may be put off studying in London?
“The school is monitoring the impact on international students’ demand, but security risks linked to terror groups are not unique to London or the United Kingdom,” he says. “We have faced serious incidents in Paris and Berlin in the last 12 months.
“We believe international students will see how united and strong the ESCP Europe community is and not allow their future to be tarnished by fear.”