BPP secures indefinite degree-awarding powers

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Previously assigned on time-limited basis

BPP University has been awarded indefinite taught degree-awarding powers under the Office for Students’ (OfS) new regulatory framework.

Although the professional education provider first obtained degree awarding powers in 2007 — and was the first publicly owned company in the UK to do so — these were granted on a time-limited basis. Until now, BPP, which obtained university status in 2013, could have seen these powers removed if it failed to meet standards.

Its owner Apollo Education Group, who bought BPP in 2009 for £303 million, was acquired by a trio of US private equity firms for £760 million in 2017, taking the company private.

In the recent summary assessment report for indefinite taught degree-awarding powers, The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) found that BPP University “clearly articulates and implements a strategic approach to learning and teaching” and recognised its “commitment to professional practice and the application of knowledge to real-life situations”.

The QAA’s recognition and the decision to award BPP new degree-awarding powers “is the culmination of a long journey with a clear goal and a lot of hard work involved, that we set out to achieve in 2000,” said BPP University vice-chancellor Professor Tim Stewart.

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He added:

“This is significant milestone for BPP and a validation of all the hard work put in by current and previous colleagues and our close partnership with the Students’ Association over the years. The experience and expertise that our staff bring to programme design, delivery and review has been fully acknowledged with this decision.”

BPP, of which BPP Law School is a subsidiary, was reportedly up for sale again last year but was taken off the market after just six months, after (it was claimed) no potential buyer was found.

Meanwhile, BPP University Law School was recently appointed by the City law firm ‘consortium’ — made up of Freshfields, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright, Linklaters and Slaughter and May — to design a suite of bespoke courses that will prepare its future trainees to pass the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).

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This is wonderful news.


Now everyone in the UK will have a GDL degree



Yes my son studying in bpp Holborn, he was fresh graduate from Cardiff law school as an overseas student, he is student of Bptc, Bpp is a great university with good standards and cooperative staff specially for the oversees students, I wish them all the best



Yeah, your son sounds like a JA claimant in training



I’m at a loss to understand why many people would want to start a Graduate Diploma in Law now when the first sitting of the SQE is only about 15 months away. Obviously, I can appreciate those intent on becoming a barrister who have no other choice or – in a very small number of cases – those who think it’s a good preparation for studying law at a masters level. However, I would have expected a fall in revenue for BPP law school from aspiring solicitors because there is no longer much value in what they are offering.

What the SQE has done is create a common framework with a centralised syllabus and exams. This then rather defeats the purpose of paying large sums of money to BPP whose role has diminished from one of course convenor to one of tuition provider. It truly boggles the mind why anyone would pay £9k+ for a qualification that they don’t need and also why so few people are asking why these courses cost the same as an SQE when really there is no future value in them preparing their own syllabus or setting their own exams.

I’ll declare an interest as someone from the accounting profession looking in at the legal profession and I do struggle to understand this. Trainee accountants generally don’t see the need to fork out £9k+ for a PGDip in Accounting before they attempt ACCA, CIMA, the ICAEW etc and firms are generally willing to take people on with no accountancy training because the work they do in the first year will be fairly mediocre anyway. Also, even the best students sometimes take a while to adapt to office life and that tends to happen in year 1. In contrast, law firms seem to want all the education in the bag before day 1 on the job but the tasks still start out fairly mediocre.

I thought the SQE would give the industry a jolt and force BPP back to doing what it used to, preparing students for professional exams. Apparently not yet!


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