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University of Law tight-lipped over BPTC launch for Leeds and Manchester

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So-called northern powerhouse cities already have 285 bar course places on offer — and only 26 pupillages

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University of Law officials refused to confirm that Leeds and Manchester are about to be flooded with yet more Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) places.

Media reports earlier in the day suggested that Europe’s biggest law school was set to launch the course at its local branches in those cities.

The university was said to be planning on living up to its stated promise to offer the course in what the last Chancellor of the Exchequer is keen on describing as the “northern powerhouse”. A statement on the institution’s website still says the course at those branches was “subject to validation”.

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However, the Lawyer2B website today indicated that the Bar Standards Board (BSB) had given the green light. The report suggested that university officials had pegged fees for its Leeds and Manchester BPTC at the same level as its Birmingham course — £14,500.

A spokesman for the regulator said:

“The BSB can confirm that we have received an application from University of Law to provide the BPTC in centres in both Manchester and Leeds. As this is still going through our usual processes, we cannot comment further at this stage.”

The move will be controversial as it comes on the heels of BSB figures showing that last year the number of pupillage places across England and Wales had tumbled below 400 for the first time in the modern era of the bar.

Manchester already has 162 full-time and 48 part-time BPTC places available through the combined offerings of Manchester Metropolitan University and BPP Law School. BPP has also currently got 47 full-time and 28 part-time course places on offer in Leeds.

Yet the total number of pupillages currently listed on the Bar Council’s gateway for those two cities is 26 — 16 in Manchester and 10 in Leeds.

Previously:

Yet another BPTC is being launched — despite chronic shortage of pupillages [Legal Cheek]