The institute confirmed that it would shut the Birmingham branch of the Legal Practice Course (LPC) in 2002, making six staff redundant.
A written statement issued by De Montfort said: “Having reviewed the provision of the LPC in Birmingham, the university has decided that the 2001/2 intake of students will be the final year, and the course will conclude at that point.”
The news comes less than a month after the College of Law launched its £7m school offering an LPC in the area.
Chief Executive of the College of Law Nigel Savage says that De Montfort’s decision to leave Birmingham is a result of the competitive market. “[The closure] has happened because of the environment in higher education. What made sense 10 years ago no longer makes sense. I’ve spent my career building law schools and I do not like it when they close.”
De Montfort recommended that students apply to the College of Law in future, bypassing other Midlands LPC providers the University of Wolverhampton and the University of Central England.
Rowland Hughes, director of the LPC at Wolverhampton, was angered by the advice. “We’re being denied the opportunity to compete for these students,” he said. “The link between the College of Law and De Montfort could create a perception in students that there is some form of conspiracy.”
The president of De Montfort’s Student Union Stuart Hill slammed the university for not communicating properly. He said: “They need to develop forward planning and let people know what they’re doing in advance.”
In July, The Lawyer revealed the takeover of the De Montfort’s Bristol campus by the University of the West of England (7 July).