Just six weeks after two ULaw second years set up a petition asking for just that
The University of Law (ULaw) has launched a first of its kind government-backed student loan to help wannabe solicitors foot the crazy costs of vocational legal education.
Future Legal Practice Course (LPC) students studying the rigorous practical skills course alongside their masters degree will now be able to apply for a £10,000 loan from the Student Loans Company. The university boasts that this means students can start their post-grad degrees “for as little as £1,200”.
Though this announcement seems rather out of the blue, discontent for the government’s restructuring of student loans has been bubbling away for months.
As of this year, post-grads can apply for funding to cover their masters degrees, but the LPC was — very notably — not included in the list of eligible courses.
Two ULaw second year students, Katie Lund and Hannah Pilkington, thought this was unfair, and set up a petition urging the then Secretary of State to do something about it.
235 online signatures and six weeks later, it seems their wishes have been answered. Lund, speaking about ULaw’s recent announcement, commented:
This is a fantastic development for anyone hoping to study the LPC, and it may mean that many who thought they couldn’t afford to study may now have that chance. Hopefully this will be the start of all universities that offer the LPC providing access to a similar loan.
ULaw’s new scheme covers master of science (MSc) and LLM degrees, but the university stresses “professional certificate or diploma courses are not eligible for the loan nor the accelerated LPC”. The government funding is only available to first time masters students who are living in England. EU nationals resident in the UK from day one of the academic year will also be eligible. Like undergraduate degree loans, the £10,000 is repayable once the graduate is earning over £21,000 per year, and expires after 30 years.
The news comes weeks after ULaw threw some weight behind its Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) students, offering them the chance to upgrade their one-year conversion course to an undergraduate law degree at no extra cost.