“Not only saddening but irresponsible”: an open letter from Oxford Brookes law students

A group of law students from Oxford Brookes University have written to management to express their dismay over this week’s discontinuation of the LPC at the university.

An open letter to:

Meryll Dean, Head of Law School
Anne-Marie Kilday, Dean of the Law Faculty
Janet Beer, Vice Chancellor, Oxford Brookes University

“Having had the privilege to study at the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice, we were saddened this week to hear of the sudden discontinuation of the Legal Practice Course. This is a course of immense practical value, taught by passionate and committed staff, which brings prestige to Oxford Brookes as it seeks to establish a reputation as a centre for academic and vocational excellence.

The postgraduate law faculty has brought great accolades to Oxford Brookes as its GDL Mooting team last year won the ESU/Essex Court national mooting competition and are currently representing the UK on an international stage. Furthermore, students completing postgraduate legal study at Oxford Brookes have the opportunity to take part in an outstanding pro bono scheme, participants of which have twice been shortlisted for the Attorney General’s pro bono award in the last three years. The sudden discontinuation of the LPC will both cripple the pro bono scheme, and adversely affect the quality of the postgraduate law provision.

However, of most concern is the way in which Oxford Brookes has made this decision without regard to the welfare of students who took up its two-year part time LPC. Due to the SRA requirement that relevant modules be undertaken at the same establishment these students have been left in limbo over the validity of their partially complete courses. Furthermore, those with families or employment in the Oxford area are suddenly faced with the prospect of relocating or commuting long distances to complete their study. Many of those who have already planned to take up places promised on the LPC at OXILP after their GDL or LLB are similarly affected.

This decision to discontinue an outstanding course at such abrupt notice is thus not only saddening, but irresponsible. For an academic provider to let its students and staff down in this manner is not in the spirit of the reputation Oxford Brookes intends to foster, as a serious academic institution. Therefore, we the undersigned, urge the management of Oxford Brookes University to consider running the course for an additional year to allow those who had relied on its provision to complete their study, and giving all others fair notice of its closure.

On behalf of the Oxford Brookes law students who have expressed their views.”