Philip Hoult reports. ANGLIA Polytechnic University (APU) is in talks with Leicester's De Montfort University and Cambridge University about moving its Chelmsford-based legal practice course (LPC) to Cambridge.
The move follows a fall in demand for places on APU's Chelmsford course - one of the first to be approved by the Law Society in early 1993.
Mike Malone-Lee, APU's vice-chancellor, confirmed that the talks were taking place but said: "There has been no decision yet. We would like to expand and move into Cambridge but it would only be possible if it is done in partnership with another university."
If the course is moved to Cambridge, it is likely to benefit from the prestige of the university city, where there are currently no LPC courses.
Malone-Lee refused to "speculate" on the future of the existing course - which currently offers 100 places each year - if the move to Cambridge did not take place and demand continued to fall.
Students applying for the 1998/9 course were told that the course would be run from either Chelmsford or Cambridge. However, Malone-Lee said that any move to Cambridge would not now happen before September 1999 and would have to be approved by the Law Society.
A spokesman at the Law Society would not comment on the proposed move but did confirm that De Montfort University was already validated to run an LPC course in Cambridge from APU's premises there.
De Montfort University runs courses in Leicester and Birmingham and has just received the go-ahead from the Law Society to run a course from Bristol University's premises starting this September.
In May The Lawyer reported that nine out of Bristol University's 10 LPC lecturers had defected to the University of the West of England following Bristol University's decision to sell its course to De Montfort.
At the time of going to press De Montfort University had not returned The Lawyer's calls.