The University of the West of England (UWE) has abandoned plans to take over the running of Exeter University’s LPC amid uncertainty over the futureoflegaleducation, Lawyer 2B can reveal.
Exeter is still looking for another provider to take over the course. The university took the decision late last year to pull out of the LPC market, having resolved that postgraduate legal education no longer suited its strategy, to focus on research rather than teaching (Lawyer 2B, October 2004).
Negotiations for Exeter to offload the running of its Centre for Legal Practice (CLP) to UWE began last October. Exeter has run postgraduatelegaleducation courses for 10 years and takes around 100 LPC and 50 GDL students a year, employing 12 staff. The transfer would have made UWE the South East’s sole postgraduate legal education provider, with around 700 students in total.
A spokesman for Exeter confirmed that negotiations had fallen through, and added: “The university wishes to transfer the centre’s ownership as part of its strategy of developing research capacity. The LPC is successful in recruiting and teaching students, but cannot play a part in that strategy because it doesn’t have a strong research focus. We therefore believe it would be better placed with another university.”
Paul Rylance, associate dean of professional legal studies at UWE, commented: “Regrettably, the uncertainties surrounding the future of professional vocational legal training in the light of the Law Society’s Training Framework Review caused the university to decide not to proceed with the proposed transfer.”