A group of students on the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at BPP have voiced their disquiet at their treatment during lockdown in an open letter to the law school’s Vice Chancellor, and have demanded a partial refund of their fees “based on the period of time students were unable to use BPP facilities.”
Among the topics the LPC students raised in the letter to Professor Tim Stewart were IT failures that locked students out of exams, a large increase in class sizes following the imposition of lockdown, the refusal of the BPP to refund printing costs, the inability of the law school to provide hard copies of teaching materials, and the fact that London students are still being charged higher fees than those in the regions despite the fact they are all working at home.
“The various last-minute changes and disruptions to BPP’s exam assessments will no doubt distort the grades achieved by the LPC cohorts that sat exams under lockdown,” once source told The Lawyer.
The students compare BPP’s response unfavorably with its main rival, the University of Law, writing: “Overall, BPP University’s response to lockdown and coronavirus has only served to create an environment of mistrust and anxiety for students, severely degrade the quality of teaching and assessment, and push as many costs of adjusting to lockdown onto students… the University of Law has successfully avoided many of the problems outlined in this letter. As they are BPP’s closest competitor, we feel that this shows that our expectations as students are both reasonable and achievable.”
It is understood that around 100 LPC students participated in either the open letter or an accompanying satisfaction, while a subgroup of affected students is attempting to engage in dialogue with the university. The Lawyer understands that representatives met with senior figures this week, and is now gearing up to begin a formal complaints process.
A statement from BPP said that the school did not comment on individual complaints but stated that all concerns raised by students are taken seriously and dealt with using the processes stated in our regulations. “We understand and are sympathetic to students impacted by the disruption caused by the unprecedented nature of Covid-19. While we have taken many steps to provide opportunities for students to continue to progress, if at all possible, our number one priority has been ensuring the safety of students and colleagues.”