UK Merger Control: Law and Practice

I am writing to correct the article that appeared in the 18 July issue of The Lawyer, 'Malaysia orders probe into UK Law courses', which misrepresents the current situation regarding UK law degrees offered to Malaysian students.

What the article describes as a 'probe' is in fact a survey being undertaken into all UK law degrees offered by all universities both 'old' and 'new'.

The survey covers both full-time and distance learning LLB provision and needs to be viewed in the context of similar surveys being undertaken of Australian, New Zealand and Canadian law degrees offered to Malaysian students.

There is therefore no 'probe' into any particular UK university or particular law degree course whether offered by a UK or any other university.

There can be no justification for making reference to the University of Wolverhampton or its LLB (Honours) Degree in any mode of study.

Your citation of my comments do not reflect what was said by me to the reporter. I did not say that the Wolverhampton degree was under investigation, since it is not, and nor did I say that I expected the Malaysian authorities to prescribe a minimum pass standard for distance learning courses. I echoed a view widely held among heads of university law schools that a minimum pass standard may be prescribed for all UK law degrees for students wishing to read for the Malaysian Certificate in Legal Practice Course.

Of the other inaccuracies in the article, I will refer only to three. In respect of the visit of the Holborn College Registrar to the university, the purpose thereof was not, as stated, “to take part in talks over the enquiry” but to attend an examinations committee meeting which had been scheduled since the commencement of the 1993/94 academic year. The second matter with which I take issue is the reference to the re-sit entitlement of students on the Wolverhampton LLB as compared with that entitlement on the University of London's External Programme.

The facts are that Wolverhampton students are entitled to a maximum of three re-sits over eight subjects. This is, in fact, more stringent than the University of London's external degree re-sit regulations.

The third inaccuracy relates to Holborn College, which continues to offer University of London External Programmes as it has for the past 25 years.

Professor John Ritson

Head of School of Legal Studies

University of Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton WV1 15B