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Kaplan Law School to close

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Third largest player in England and Wales legal education market takes a nosedive after eight years in business

Lead

Kaplan Law School is to shut from the end of next year, officials have confirmed.

The institution — which was founded in 2007 and ditched its Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) last year — will leave the legal education market completely when its current joint venture with Nottingham University Law School expires at the end of 2016.

That deal has involved Kaplan running Nottingham’s Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and Legal Practice Course (LPC) in London. The law school triggered a bout of speculation in spring of last year when it announced it was moving from London’s south bank to Borough near London Bridge and gave the bullet to its BPTC last September.

As of 2014 there were 275 students doing the Kaplan LPC and 112 on the GDL. Fees for the Kaplan-Nottingham GDL are currently £9,950 LPC, while its LPC/LLM fee is £14,250.

That made Kaplan’s LPC about £550 cheaper than that of the University of Law and BPP Law School in the capital. Its GDL fees were around £340 cheaper than its two leading rivals.

The shock announcement came only a day after Kaplan had trumpeted another joint venture. Yesterday it unveiled a deal with Pearson VUE to deliver the first part of the qualified lawyers transfer scheme exam globally.

Kaplan is the SRA’s sole authorised provider that scheme’s assessments, which provide a route for foreign lawyers and barristers to become solicitors of England and Wales.

In a statement this morning, the Kaplan pointed a not-so-subtle finger at the solicitors’ profession regulator for triggering its decision to bail out of the legal education market. It said the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) “Training for Tomorrow programme has opened up the prospect of exciting new possibilities for the route to qualification as a solicitor of England and Wales.”

The statement continued:

Kaplan has therefore taken the view that it will not invest in a traditional LPC and GDL to replace the existing one but rather will concentrate its resources on developing innovative new products that draw on the Training for Tomorrow framework.

A spokeswoman went on to say that current Kaplan GDL and LPC students “will continue to receive the high quality tuition and strong focus on individual student outcomes that made it a leader in the market”.

Kaplan officials confirmed that the institution was continuing with its other courses, which include accountancy, finance and management. But the spokeswoman would not comment on how many Kaplan law school staff faced redundancy.

Responding to the announcement, Nottingham Law School issued a statement saying:

Kaplan Law School’s contract to run Nottingham Law School’s GDL and LPC in London is coming to an end in 2016. This will not affect current students who are due to complete their studies before September 2016. Nottingham Law School will continue to run its vibrant LPC and GDL portfolios in Nottingham, which continue to recruit well from both domestic and international markets.

Previously:

Kaplan to ditch its Bar Professional Training Course [Legal Cheek]

Kaplan Law School to quit pricey Thames-side campus [Legal Cheek]

27 Comments

Lol

*Kraplan

(20)(12)

Anonymous

*Krap plan

(3)(3)

Anonymous

Never went to Kaplan, but I think it’s bad for the market that they’re closing down. The industry concentration already allows BPP & UoL to exert too much power over desperate students dreaming of a career in law, I imagine it’ll only get worse from here…

(36)(2)

Longshanks

Hear hear. Whilst I have absolutely no sympathy with these private, equity house-leveraged ‘education institutions’, leaving the market to fester between Uncle Lygo’s BPP and the shysters at ULaw is bound to cause more heartbreak than good in the long run. The two will no doubt be celebrating today and rubbing their hands at the spoils to come.

If anything, Kaplan was somehow known for an apparently excellent careers service and a friend of mine who currently works at a major firm said his LPC days there were actually really nice – small class sizes, a homely-feeling building and the like.

I would be really interesting to know what are the real reasons for the place to close down all of a sudden…

(24)(2)

Anonymous

Yeah, I went there for the LPC. It was decent. Small scale, friendly staff and met some good people from other firms who I’m still friends with.

Reminded me of a small private college in the US.

(11)(1)

Anonymous

It seems to me the most obvious reason is that the exclusivity agreements it held with certain firms were falling like dominoes.

Sherman & Sterling and Trowers are two off the top of my head.

It’s a shame because the career service is genuinely excellent and many students (myself included) started the LPC at Kaplan without a TC and left with one.

(9)(1)

Anonymous

I would second that, the careers service is truly excellent at Kaplan.

(7)(1)

Anonymous

Yet another indication that this “Training for tomorrow” review will lead to a NY Bar style examination/assessment, rather than a 7-10 month LPC course.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Then the Inns can sell top-up courses for those studying remotely. Ker-Ching!

(7)(0)

Anonymous

Looks like my QLTT with Kaplan Altior in 2010 is going to be an outdated qualification by an outdated provider.

(6)(1)

Anonymous

Not necessarily, especially if they still have exclusivity for the QLTS.

(0)(2)

Anonymous

You are partly correct, the QLTT was replaced by QLTS, and it caused an uproar when it happened due to the massive differences.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

BPP & UoL to inevitably increase fees due to lack of competition.

(8)(0)

A City NQ

Unlikely. Given the current outrageous tuition fees for the GDL & LPC at BPP/ULaw and a market which is still far from healthy, I don’t think anyone would be willing to plonk out an extra grand for the tosh courses they offer there. Where’s the added value?

(4)(3)

Anonymous

Ripped off from RollOnFriday. Again. Do you not have any actual journalists working for you?

(4)(3)

Anonymous

Journalists don’t exist anymore. They just sit in offices waiting for stuff to materialise. This means trawling twitter, other news sites and rehashing marketing and PR releases.

(6)(2)

Anonymous

Is that you Jamie?

(3)(4)

RoF Rozzer

Is that you Alex?

(2)(4)

Anonymous

ULaw will be next………BPP will win.

(1)(4)

Anonymous

ULaw are winning and retaining enough exclusivity contracts to suggest that this isn’t likely to happen in the near future.

It could turn out to be a Blu-Ray v HD DVD situation where only one service can win the day, or (more likely in my view) it will be a Netflix v Amazon Prime situation with two clear market leaders.

(2)(2)

Ed

Exclusivity contracts, or as private providers call them “wholesale”. VHS won out over Beta (it wasn’t a superior product) – it’s a shame we reduced education to thinking it’s a service and product.

(0)(0)

RoF Rozzer

This post has been removed because it breaches Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(4)(2)

RoF Rozzer

I am a racist…LACIST!!!

(1)(2)

Windsor. A

Anonymous OP, please state your name and status to show up the racist assumptions of our friend Rof Rozzer above…

(0)(0)

Anonymous

God the comments sections are getting worse truly disgusting racist / elitist attitudes being driven by …

(0)(0)

anonymous

Sad news. The Careers service in Kaplan is second to none in the City and teachers are friendly and want you to do well. I know buckets of people who got their TCs because of Kaplan, myself included. I’ve heard you are faceless in BPP and Ulaw and they will take on any GDL or LPC student who is willing to give them the money. Regardless of whether you have any chance of getting TC!

(5)(0)

Lethargic Bystander

Nottingham has two universities. Nottingham Law School is Nottingham Trent University’s (apparently very good) postgrad and professional training entity and has nothing to do with the University of Nottingham. But I think the inaccuracy was just copied and pasted from ROF so I don’t blame you.

(5)(0)

Comments are closed.