Difficulties ahead for University of Law/Oxford Brookes LPC deal

Any deal between Oxford Brookes University and the University of Law over the future of the Oxford legal practice course (LPC) could face difficulties, Dean of BPP Law School Peter Crisp has said.

Commenting on news that Oxford Brookes is in advanced talks with the University of Law that will see the private provider take over the LPC, Crisp warned “how do you assure the quality of student experience when you have no control over the centre itself. In terms of the provision of careers advice to students, for example, would they have access to these services?”

Crisp added that if the deal means that students can complete the LPC course “then of course it is good news” but warned that some students who had been due to enrol in September were “jumping ship” and coming to BPP as students “have lost confidence in the institution”.

Other providers have also offered to accommodate Oxford Brookes students, with Nottingham Law School tweeting this morning “@NLSLaw Oxford Brookes students: our LPC maps into your existing course. Call us & we can help you apply to SRA to complete Year2 with us 0115 8484460”.

Students were outraged last week when informed of Oxford Brookes’ decision to stop teaching the LPC from this summer, meaning that part-time students who enrolled this year were to be left in limbo.

Last week Professor Meryll Dean, head of the school of law, said: “Following a recent consultation, a decision has been made to close Oxford Brookes’ LPC to further recruitment.

“The LPC is a respected course taught by committed staff, but unfortunately a steady decline in applications over the past five years has meant that the programme is no longer tenable. This decline in applications is one which is mirrored nationally across the sector.”

Despite the questions hanging over the future of the course, an open day for prospective GDL and LPC students is still being advertised on Oxford Brookes’ website.

Following the news last week, Oxford Brookes law students wrote an open letter, hosted on Lawyer2B, to university management expressing their dismay at the course’s discontinuation (7 March 2013).