The University of the West of England (UWE) has abandoned plans to take over the running of Exeter Univ-ersity’s LPC amid uncertainty over the future of legal education, The Lawyer can reveal.
Paul Rylance, associate dean of professional legal studies at UWE, told The Lawyer: “Regrettably, the uncertainties surrounding the future of professional vocational legal training in the light of the Law Society’s Training Framework Review caused the university to decide not to proceed with the proposed transfer.”
Exeter still wants to offload the course to another law school and is actively seeking another provider to take it over.
Negotiations with UWE over the future of Exeter’s Centre for Legal Practice began last October, as reported by The Lawyer’s sister publication Lawyer 2B. The transfer would have made UWE the South East’s sole postgraduate legal education provider, with around 700 students in total.
A spokesman for Exeter confirmed that negotiations had fallen through, adding: “The university wishes to transfer the centre’s ownership as part of its strategy of developing research capacity. The legal practice centre is successful in recruiting and teaching students, but can’t play a part in that strategy because it doesn’t have a strong research focus. We therefore believe it would be better placed with another university.”