£8m bursaries bonanza on the cards post-CoL sale

With a potential £200m sale of the College of Law (CoL) on the horizon, it is understood plans are being ­formulated that would see between £7m and £8m in bursaries becoming available for law students every year.

Since the sale was first mooted, commentators have speculated on the difficulties for the sale provoked by the charitable status of the CoL and what the proceeds could be used for.

It is now understood that a likely option for the sale would be to follow a model similar to that seen in the pharmaceutical industry with the split between the Wellcome Trust and what is now GlaxoSmithKline.

Under that model the business would split from the charity, with the proceeds of the sale put into a charitable foundation that would use the investment to pursue the foundation’s charitable objectives and purposes by providing hundreds of bursaries.

The CoL already funds the Pathways to Law initiative, which focuses on state school pupils, and the Legal Services Policy Institute. It is believed that the CoL will use those initiatives as a platform to promote diversity at all levels.

Meanwhile, the CoL as a business and a brand would carry on with full degree awarding powers as a for-profit business building on its current history.

The exact solution reached will require the approval of the trustees, who are supposed to guarantee that the purchase is in the interests of the charity.

The plans may require approval by the Charity Commission.

A CoL spokesperson said a sale is just one option being considered in the ongoing strategic review.