• Browne Review Will Lead To Increased Competition; Quality of Educational Offer Must Be Better To Merit Greater Fees

    12 October 2010

    • College of Law urges government to use Lord Browne’s recommendations to increase competition in Higher Education.
    • Removing the fee cap will remove the dividing lines between public and private tertiary education
    • The agenda for Higher Education has changed: if students are asked to pay more, then universities must deliver greater quality to students, and prepare them for the world of work
    • Part-time and flexible education, such as e-learning or student-led timetabling is critical to ensure access and diversity of the student body
    • As the largest professional legal education and training establishment in the world, the College has been successfully providing this quality and style of education without any public funds for many years.

    The College of Law welcomes the Review published today by Lord Browne and the opportunity to respond to the challenges of delivering high quality Higher Education in the UK.

    Commenting on the Browne Review, Nigel Savage, CEO of The College of Law said:

    "We hope the government will use the recommendations in this report to begin a timely and much needed re-think of Higher Education and the role of educational institutions in England to ensure that they all deliver to a contemporary agenda of employability, flexibility and diversity, something the College of Law is already recognised as excelling at."            

    On fees:
    "The fee cap coming off will create a more competitive environment, however, if we ask students to pay more, then higher education must deliver greater quality. It is simply not acceptable to charge money to students for degree-level courses that do not provide excellence in teaching, intellectual stimulation and prepare them for the world of work.

    On public/private divide:
    "Whilst we need to protect the best in our world-class institutions, we must eliminate the dividing lines between public and private tertiary education. We must allow all institutions to compete for the students and allow quality to flourish. Over one third of global Higher Education is already provided by the private sector. Each institution must be allowed to excel in their respective strengths and greater competition will stimulate innovation. A robust system of quality assurance that applies equally to both sectors must ensure that all students have full information on which they can base their decision on where to attend.

    On access and diversity:
    "Driving further diversity in Higher Education is critically important to the future of this country. The College has been a moving light in the Pathways to Law programme. This is a £3.0 million initiative developed by the Sutton Trust and funded by the College of Law to inspire and support academically able young people from non-privileged backgrounds who are interested in a career in law. It aims to give students in Years 12 and 13 at school the confidence and knowledge to maximise their potential and to realise their ambitions in the legal sector. Over 1,000 young people will benefit from the scheme over the initial lifetime of the project. 

    On employability:
    "Higher Education establishments that train students in professional subjects must make a genuine commitment to preparing students for the world of employment, and must help them to secure their critical first job. This means having robust relationships with the commercial sector, so that courses are preparing students for the jobs businesses can offer. The College of Law has an excellent record in this respect, with over 89% of its students going quickly into to full time employment.

    On part-time and flexible study:

    "We also feel strongly that tertiary education must be delivered in a flexible way, for example, with students able to work and study part time, or by extending the academic year across the full calendar year. Only with these elements built into our education system will we be able to provide access to all those willing and qualified to benefit from it and to encourage and support diversity of background.

    "We are excited by Lord Browne’s proposals. We are ready to embrace the challenge set out in the Browne Review and we look forward to the time when we can provide a wider range of educational opportunities to students, building on our current success.
    Lord Browne’s proposals will allow us to offer a world class education to many more students. We await the government’s response with interest.”

    Further information

    Contact Lucy Wray, Press Officer, The College of Law on 01483 216072 (lucy.wray@lawcol.co.uk).