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Arden University registers as SQE prep provider

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Ex-BPP chief’s new outfit prepares to deliver super-exam course

Arden University is putting plans in place to offer a course which will help law students prepare for “elements” of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).

While details remain thin on the ground, a spokesperson for Arden University confirmed it was “exploring a strategy” for offering aspiring lawyers support in undertaking the SQE.

The private university has study centres in London, Birmingham and Manchester, and already offers a distance learning law degree. Legal Cheek understands plans are at an early stage but the SQE prep will likely be incorporated into its existing LLB offering.

Arden’s possible move into the SQE prep market is interesting for two reasons.

Firstly, the uni recently appointed ex-BPP University chief Professor Carl Lygo as its new vice chancellor and CEO. A formidable player in the legal education world, the former barrister helped BPP Law School establish both its Bar Vocational Course (now known as the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)) and Legal Practice Course (LPC).

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Secondly, Arden is owned by Global University Systems (GUS), a corporate group which owns and operates several for-profit colleges and universities including The University of Law (ULaw) — a big player in the legal education market which has already signalled its intentions to offer SQE prep courses.

The news comes after the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) published a list of “providers” who will deliver SQE education/study materials or plan to in the future.

The list features a number of unsurprising inclusions including BPP, ULaw, BARBRI and Nottingham Law School, as well as some lesser known organisations such as the City Career Series, Excel Legal Education Limited and the Law Training Centre.

According to the SRA, it does not “endorse [the] training providers or organisations” which appear on the list and plays “no role in approving, endorsing or overseeing the training courses or materials, or their quality.”

The new route to qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales, known informally as the super-exam, will replace both the LPC and Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) when it comes into force in September 2021. The regulator has indicated students will “likely” pay between £3,000 and £4,500 to sit the two-part assessment, with course fees on top of that.

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43 Comments

Anonymous

No-one gives a flying fudge where someone does the vocational courses or how people did in them.

(10)(3)

Anonymous

Is that why firms ‘insist’ on you completing their bespoke course with a provider of their choosing?

(3)(3)

Anonymous

I believe it is possible that one of the reasons that firms prefer you to complete the course at a provider of their choosing is that they have to pay for the course and they have negotiated financial arrangements with a particular provider.

Whereas as if you could choose to complete the course anywhere they would have to pay the full fees for whichever course each future trainee choose.

(15)(0)

Anonymous

Well, it depends. If a firm chooses to select a graduate who has not completed an LPC for a training contract, they probably do have a preference based on factors such as locality, price and in the case of some of the bigger firms, tailoring of the courses to their needs.

However, I suspect if someone comes along who already holds an LPC, they probably consider it a financial benefit more than they consider it a problem because it wasn’t their ‘favourite’ LPC. Firms like to mould their candidates, but they do that in the office, not in a classroom attended by students from lots of other firms.

Call it commercial awareness!

(2)(1)

Anonymous

What university? Never heard of them.

(10)(1)

Anonymous

It’s run by that former BPP chappy – calls himself “professor” and “barrister” – look up his CV you’ll have a jolly good laugh.

(11)(1)

Anonymous

This needs to be nipped in the bud. It is remarkable SRA and BSB can’t see the harm caused by these dodgy private equity firms running course for profit and taught by failed practitioners.

(11)(1)

Anonymous

If it is the problem that you suggest, then why do large law firms have a preference for the College of Law and BPP over offerings from more traditional academic institutions? What exactly is it that you are aware of that the HR departments of Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy etc are not?

(2)(6)

Anonymous

So you wonder why A&O don’t use University of Cambridge LPC? Plonker.

The regulators have decided LPC/BPTC is mandatory. These crappy private providers have popped. Law firms have to use one of them – they don’t have the choice to go to a traditional university.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

A&O were the lawyers for the college of law (and sent their students to the college of law)when they were bought out by Montague Private Equity. Once Montague sold to GUS A&O no longer sent their students there. Just coincidence?

The magic circle firms got/get a reduced block price for their students at Ulaw. The self financing students effectively subsidise the MC firms. Tragic but true.

(1)(0)

Cantab M.Phl (Oxon)

Not taking the piss but wtf is Arden University

(6)(0)

Anonymous

I thought it was named after Lady Justice Arden

(2)(0)

Imane Aib

Is a private university

(0)(0)

Anonymous

“Arden is owned by Global University Systems (GUS), a corporate group which owns and operates several for-profit colleges and universities including The University of Law (ULaw) — a big player in the legal education market which has already signalled its intentions to offer SQE prep courses.”

Aren’t there competitions laws against this kinda thing?

Also Global University Systems is a Netherlands based private company – oh dear!

(2)(0)

Anonymous

I am disappointed nobody has commented as JD Partner mocking it as HardOn University. Standards are slipping.

(16)(0)

Anonymous

Alex’s panicy deletions have put paid to that.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

I think you’ll find most the tutors and especially their management (centre and national) at these LPC providers have spent more time being law students (4yrs) than they have as practising lawyers (2yrs TC +12mths PQE). Yet they market themselves as ‘experts in their fields’. Smacks of (fraudulent) misrep to me.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Those who can’t, teach.

(10)(2)

Anonymous

Can’t what?

(0)(2)

Anonymous

It’s a play on an old advert to recruit new teachers using the slogan “Those who can, teach”.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

But that makes no sense gramatically or logically. Can’t what?

Anonymous

The advert itself was a play on the pre-existing saying ‘those who can, do, those who can’t, teach.”

Anonymous

The saying in full is, “those who can, do; those who can’t, teach”. The recruitment ad was a failed attempt to subvert this; all it really did was put people in mind of the original saying.

Anonymous

Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach PE.

Kirkland Debt Finance Trainee

SQE should be incorporated into the law degree.

(6)(2)

SPB 1PQE

Private equity firms should not be running educational services.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

The cancer of private equity spreads everywhere. The knowledge that everyone involved in the “industry” will burn forever in hell is little solace.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

No deal

Cha cha cha

No deal

It is going

To be biblical

Have you had ten years which have been just great?

GIRFUY

(0)(1)

A&O trainee

Why do you keep posting this?

(9)(0)

Anonymous

LLL

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Why does Carl Lygo get such a good press on Legal Cheek? I would love to know what commercial dimensions there are to the relationship.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Cans of special brew go into Alex’s pocket. Positive comments come out of his mouth. Simple.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Carl Lygo

LLB, University of Central Lancashire
LLM, University of East Anglia

Criminal barrister at Pearl Chambers in Leeds then Mitre House Chambers in London.

Then spent 20 years teaching/boss at BPP.

Serious WTF

(5)(0)

Anonymous

And a super cringe personal website

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Those Winston Churchill quotes?!

(1)(0)

Anonymous

This is the first paragraph from his supercringe website:

“Welcome to my personal website. This tells you the story of an ordinary boy from a South Yorkshire mining Town, educated at a local comprehensive School, brought up by a single parent Mum who struggled with dyslexia but who became a FTSE Executive Director, Chief Executive, founded a University and became a Professor. Anything is achievable if you put your mind to it!”

Tells you a lot about his mother’s CV, but nothing about his own beyond secondary school. Why is this?

(13)(0)

Anonymous

Did his mother struggle with dyslexia or did he?

(4)(0)

Anonymous

I love the capital M for mum

(6)(0)

Anonymous

It’s incredible. Now this:

“Two of my closest friends at Law School have now also taken silk and it makes me wonder what might have been if I had not chosen an academic career. They are Christopher Stoner QC and Michael Bools QC.”

Hard to know where to start with that.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

hahahahahhahahahahhahah this is the funniest thing ever

(4)(0)

Anonymous

When I was at the college of law, one tutor claimed to be an expert in international law. Turns out he’d got 12 months pqe doing residential conveyancing in rural wales – I kid you not.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

Sounds about right for a top school like BPP

(2)(0)

Anonymous

After all, it does stand for: Bloody Piss Poor.

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.

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