The University of Law (ULaw) has launched a new loan for postgraduate students.
As of September 2016, graduates taking the legal education provider’s various Masters and Legal Practice Course (LPC) programmes will be eligible for loans of up to £10,000.
ULaw managing director Dr Stelios Platis said: “In a sector that brought £3.6bn to the UK in services trade last year, there is clear demand for talented and highly skilled professionals and that’s exactly what we are trying to address.”
“Many graduates dream of a successful career in the legal sector but are often not able to pursue their goals for lack of funding. At The University of Law, we’re committed to removing those entry barriers and enabling bright and ambitious young people from the most diverse backgrounds to enter the profession.”
The loan is funded by the Students Loans Company, and is released directly to students. Open only to British and EU nationals resident in the UK, it must be repaid once graduates are earning more than £21,000 per annum. Students with an offer from the university can submit an application online up to six months prior to the course start date.
Speaking to Lawyer 2B, Platis said the move was part of a longer-term plan to “re-energise” the University of Law’s brand following its purchase by Global Education Systems (GUS), the owner of a number of academic institutions, in June 2015.
GUS bought ULaw for an undisclosed sum, following a turbulent three years when it was owned by Montagu Private Equity.
Platis, who joined ULaw in April 2016, promised a different strategic approach under the new owners. “The University of Law is the jewel in GUS’s crown: they know it, and they let us know it,” he told Lawyer 2B.
He said the new philosophy would be “growth through excellence”, with the University’s reputation attracting students naturally. “I want a healthy and vibrant legal education sector, not to be drawn into a price war with our competitors. I want students to want to come to us, not to have to go out and chase them,” he said.
Platis promised a number of new student-focused initiatives in the next 12 months, hinting at collaborations with other institutions and new modules and teaching methods designed to equip students with the skills that will be needed in the legal market of the future.
The University has already announced two new initiatives in recent months, pledging to refund the LPC fees of students who fail to secure employment within nine months of graduation, and allowing its Graduate Diploma in Law students to upgrade their qualification to a full LLB for no extra cost.