“A kick in the teeth” is the verdict of one student at Oxford Brookes University on the decision taken by the university to end its Legal Practice Course (LPC).
Oxford Brookes will cease to teach the LPC from this summer, meaning that part-time students who enrolled this year are to be left in limbo. The university’s decision to stop teaching the LPC follows a spate of universities closing their graduate diploma in law (GDL) in 2011.
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.
“We are working closely with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place for those who are currently studying as part of the course. The decision to close the course was not taken lightly and the university is committed to ensuring students and staff are fully supported during this time.”
The SRA has stated: “We are in discussions with Oxford Brookes about its proposals to cease delivery of its LPC. Our focus is on ensuring that the quality of experience for all students, full and part-time, together with the standards set for the programme, are maintained throughout this process.”
Oxford Brookes LPC student Damon Ballinger also tweeted “Ox Brookes has cancelled my LPC at the halfway point! What to do…#furious”. Just yesterday the aspiring lawyer tweeted: “nearly there for this round of exams! Stick with it and we’ll all be sipping champers when we qualify #finalpush”.
Elise Max, a lecturer and legal consultant, tweeted: “Disgusting & irresponsible. Should have to see current students through to end Oxford Brooks stopping LPC course”.
Barrister James Bell replied: “It’s shoddy & unfair on the students whose fees they’ve trousered!”
A slump in student numbers forced Southampton Solent University, the universities of Sunderland, East London and Wolverhampton and Sheffield Hallam University to stop teaching the GDL in 2011.
Last week, Lawyer 2B revealed that demand for NQs has fallen among top firms (26 February 2013).