CoL’s Bristol branch bucks trend by exceeding student numbers

The College of Law has exceeded student number predictions at its fledgling Bristol branch despite the Legal Practice Course (LPC) market shrinking by 20 per cent.

The LPC provider announced a total of 239 student enrolments at the new campus, with 121 Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) students and 118 LPC students beating its initial target by 26 per cent.

CoL Chief Nigel Savage said: “I suppose we were quietly confident because we have such a good relationship with the firms in Bristol and with Bristol University. But I always like to be prudent about figures as then it gives us some flexibility,”

“I am happy where we are in Bristol and I think we have a good base for expanding numbers in the future,” he added.

The news comes following the LPC giants’ invasion into the city last year with the new branches opening in September 2010, and BPP Law School furthering its rapid expansion by adding the GDL to its growing portfolio.

Elsewhere, CoL has announced that it has no plans as yet to follow BPP on its decision to launch a fast-track LPC to all (exclusively reported by The Lawyer last Monday); with Savage claiming that he believes its online LPC provides a better learning experience. 

“We’re keeping an open mind but have no current plans to install a fast-track course [for everyone]. But of course we’re in a competitive market, so if the regulator says yes to the programme then it may be something to consider.”

Currently CoL only offers a fast-track course for trainees joining Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Linklaters.

The BPP fast-track course is subject to validation by the Solicitor Regulation Authority due this week.