Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) providers have hiked their deposits as many students face continued uncertainty over how to fund the compulsory course.
BPP Law School and Cardiff Law School have both increased their deposits by at least £100 for both the full-time and part-time BPTC to £500 and £800respectively.
A BPP spokesperson said: “The increase reflects the fact that the BPTC is a highly competitive course, with a significant demand for limited places. By increasing the deposit, we hope to encourage all applicants to think seriously about accepting a place.”
Cardiff has increased its deposit by the most, charging £200 more than last year. The school’s BPTC course leader Jetsun Lebasci said:“BPP’s reasons for its increase is important in a sense that if you secure a place, and the student doesn’t turn up, practically speaking there is a significant loss of income but also that place could have been offered to another student.”
“For us, however, the reason the deposit has gone up is simply for it to cover all the course materials, allowing us to give individual copies to each student. We pay less because we buy them in bulk, therefore it will save the students money,” she added.
The College of Law, meanwhile, has kept its deposit at a steady £350 and the City Law School at £425, although both require their first instalments for the course in early August, while Northumbria Law School has kept its at £250.
Most law schools do, however, provide a ‘cooling off’ period of between seven to 11 days, which allows students to withdraw their acceptance and have the deposit reimbursed.
The news arrives as tension grows around the issue of funding for students wishing to enrol on the BPTC, with HSBC as yet failing to specify the terms of its new Bar Loan Scheme and two of the Inns of Courts’ scholarship awards being pushed back to after the BPTC acceptance date of 7 April.
The jump in deposits follows an announcement by all of the major providers that they will be increasing their course fees as reported by Lawyer2B.com in February (read more).