Exeter University to turn its back on LPC

Exeter University plans to pull out of the LPC market in time for the next academic year, as postgraduate legal education no longer suits its strategy.

Exeter University plans to pull out of the LPC market, as postgraduate legal education no longer suits its strategy.

As Lawyer 2B went to press, the South West university was in negotiations with the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol in a bid to offload the running of its Centre for Legal Practice (CLP) to its neighbour. Should Exeter and UWE reach an agreement, it will leave UWE as the sole postgraduate legal education provider in the South West.

Irrespective of these negotiations Exeter has made a commitment to students to continue running the LPC in until the end of the 2005-06 academic year.

The centre, which has been running for 10 years, takes around 100 LPC students and 50 on its GDL. It has 12 staff and is headed by director Professor Vivien Shrubsall. The intention is to transfer the staff to UWE, which takes around 550 students annually across its LPC, GDL and BVC courses, but to keep the centre running out of its current Exeter base.

A spokesman for Exeter University said it had made a strategic decision to excel at research. “At Exeter we’re very focused on research, while the centres focus is on teaching, so it doesnt fit. The centre would be better served by another university,” he explained.

Paul Rylance, the associate dean of professional legal studies at UWE, confirmed that his institution was “exploring ways we can keep LPC provision in the Exeter area.”

UWE has experience of taking over rival LPC providers. Two years ago De Montfort University’s LPC centre in Bristol closed and folded into UWE.