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Student anger as BPP shuts Holborn campus for ‘essential maintenance’

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Students, who pay a London premium, can access other centres, including one just over mile away in Waterloo, until reopening next month

Renovations at BPP’s Holborn branch — credit: @theBarandme (Twitter)

BPP University’s Holborn campus is currently undergoing “essential maintenance works”, according to the law school, and students aren’t happy.

Images that surfaced on social media yesterday appear to show the university’s centrally-located teaching centre stripped of furniture and carpet. It will reopen next month for access to bookable study space and library facilities.

All of the university’s campuses are closed in light of the national coronavirus lockdown, with all teaching being delivered online. However, a “limited selection” of study centres remain open for pre-booked private study, according to BPP’s website.

From 8 March, BPP has said students based in Holborn will be able to book study space at any of its centres. BPP has a second centre just over a mile away in London’s Waterloo, and it’s likely students could be directed there.

Some BPP students based in the capital, who pay a premium to study there, have taken issue with the refurbishment. Several have claimed they received no prior warning of the closure. “Our university is a building site, no one even had the courtesy to tell us… We are paying thousands of pounds to fund a pile of rubble,” one student wrote on Twitter.

Another Twitter user added: “…you’re really going to charge a £2,000 premium for one month’s use of Holborn facilities?”

BPP teaches the Legal Practice Course and Barrister Training Course from its Holborn base, with the Graduate Diploma in Law taught from the Waterloo campus.

BPP University declined to comment.

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39 Comments

Shiteman

A whole mile away.

(22)(14)

Karens

Its been for sale and now it is empty, conclusions anyone?

(23)(1)

Wiggy McWigface

FML. I watched this erupt on twitter yesterday. My fav comment was the person who said their campus was now a ‘pile of rubble’. It’s a photo taken from the entrance of the library. Has anyone seen if the other floors are affected?

BPP couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery – they’d charge you £200 for a pint glass and then tell you there was no beer and it was your fault for buying a glass – but the building hasn’t been knocked down and there is an alternative less than a mile away.

(33)(8)

Curious Bystander

Getting to the Waterloo campus is trickier than you might imagine if your commute is based around getting to Holborn. A 15-20 minute walk either way (which involves crossing a very windy bridge!) is not ideal. There’s also no direct tube connection – you have to take the (fairly packed) 68/168 bus.

The people who are talking about distance are missing a key point. Waterloo is already over capacity and it likely won’t have enough space to accommodate LPC students on top of GDL students in a socially distanced manner, especially once things start opening up around the May-June assessment period.

The other key point that’s being missed is that LPC student fees were kept high in order to – supposedly – keep buildings open and maintenance/security staff employed throughout lockdown. So why is the building closed?

(45)(5)

Hackaforte

‘A very windy bridge’.

Unless you’re a dimetrodon, that doesn’t seem much of a problem.

(35)(5)

Mmmm

Or a snowflake.

(5)(3)

Not a boomer

Ok snowflake.

(4)(3)

snowflake is so 2015

nice of you 20-year-old boomers to miss the point of the post lol

(11)(1)

Jen Zed

Ok snowflake, don’t get scared walking over the bridge.

(2)(4)

US Firm Associate

Get a bike and stop moaning, will be useful for going to work later too.

(4)(5)

Observer

The trouble is these kind of avoidable PR disasters keep happening to BPP. It makes you wonder who is in charge. It’s now at the stage where it’s getting embarrassing for Slaughters, Links and the rest of the City Consortium.

(50)(0)

smell the coffee mate

BPP is incompetent and does the bare minimum for everyone. It does just enough to ensure that the sponsored LPC darlings pass. It does just enough for everyone else to not get sued or see massive drops in enrolment.

Tip for anyone starting in 2021 and self-funding: Tell BPP that you have an offer from Ulaw or another law school and ask for a discount. They’ll typically go as far as 30% of your fees.

(48)(0)

Question

When in April will the building open?

Keep in mind – ladies and gents – that people on the accelerated LPC courses (who are based at Holborn) have exams in mid & late April and early May. Regular LPC students have exams in early May. Re-opening in early April will be very different for students looking for a quiet place to revise compared to re-opening in late April.

(6)(0)

Currently at BPP

Don’t think the article addresses the real issue students have. Alongside the other problems that students have faced this past year, this could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Students have been asking for the London premium to be removed this year because all teaching has been online. BPP have refused on the basis that we’ve still had access to the libraries. Then they don’t tell us that this is what happens to the main campus and the Bar course library.

The Waterloo campus is meant for GDL students. I don’t think that opening it up to LPC and BPTC students is going to mean there will be ample spaces for the students.

Communication between BPP and students throughout has been abysmal in my opinion. No wonder students are up in arms about this too.

(58)(0)

garbage emoji

BPP is such a trash fire

(18)(0)

Sherlock Holmes

This is very suspect. Can anyone provide a link or screenshot to the building being for sale? Seen a lot of people claiming this but no hard evidence.

(2)(0)

BPP LPC student

Why is BPP so bad at communicating? It sent out an email about the procedure for accessing study spaces a couple of days before this story came out. Couldn’t they have included a proper explanation of what’s going on with Holborn in that email? Why wait to get called out first and then post a lazy Twitter post that few people saw?

(13)(0)

Disgusting

The issue with all of this is that BPP maintained up until the end of December that they would be having in person study as soon as possible to students who were self funding. This was in their marketing, their insight evenings, even in direct emails to students, presumably to ensure that students who pay to study in London still enrol and pay the higher fee. Meanwhile BPP were telling the ABC cohort as early as October that their Jan to June course would be entirely online. And now BPP has torn apart the building for refurbishment without a word to students.

These kinds of building works don’t happen off the cuff. This “maintenance” has likely been in the works for the better part of six months, including during the time they were telling students that they can rest easy knowing that as soon as it was safe, they would be allowed use the building they have been paying a higher fee for.

Many students still don’t have hard copy books, which BPP maintained they’d get when they enroled in September. Exams are still run haphazardly. Admit and IT are a nightmare.

Whether there is a venue in Waterloo or not is not the point, the point is ongoing lies to students who will likely not be able to enter the building at all before their course ends, who only made the mistake of taking BPP at their word.

(42)(0)

Dan the Man

6 months? More likely 12-18 months. They would have had to run a tender and get a contractor in place. The cost of this refurb, depending on extent and floors affected, will be at least £200k plus, so the spend would have been approved too. Tbh charging students London fees for online courses is a disgrace. I did the LPC at BPP and was not impressed. Did the PSC at University of Law and they were better, but not exceptional. Both places take the ‘bums on seats’ approach to higher education.

(14)(0)

Agreed

I was giving them the benefit of the doubt. You’re right. Planning this sort of refurb takes far longer.

(4)(0)

too misleading

The article is misleading. It makes it seem like Waterloo and Holborn are next to each other. They’re not. It takes like 20 minutes to get from one to the other because you either need to take two underground lines or take a bus in heavy traffic for 10 minutes and walk for another 10. Also this sucks for those making the extra commute every day 5-7 days a week during revision period.

(18)(2)

Take action

If you’re based in London and have your TC sponsored, speak to your law firm about this. The average LPCer can’t do anything – a firm that puts dozens through BPP every year and is re-evaluating its processes in light of the SQE can.

(18)(0)

Two long years at BPP

Can say from experience that BPP will do things if sponsor firms get involved. Raise the issue with your HR contact at your firm, maybe after getting a few of your other classmates sponsored by the same firm on board.

(4)(0)

Planning Planner

I wanted to find out how long this had been in the pipeline for but there doesn’t seem to have been a building control application made by BPP recently…

I keep thinking that surely they haven’t been this stupid, but it is BPP after all.

(13)(0)

Abneolnt

Easy solution here guys – don’t pay. Get your TC and let the partners fork out for it. Self-funding is just increasing your debt, while not increasing the likelihood of getting a TC.

(13)(9)

Hackaforte

Walking a mile (ie 15 minutes) out of your way is what those of us outside London call ‘a minor inconvenience’.

(5)(9)

lol as if

it seems that everyone outside of london drives everywhere so i doubt that your fat ass could make it from the Costco parking area to the store

(23)(2)

Hackaforte

I forgot, you Londoners travel everywhere by hopping in and out of roadside chalk drawings. What a whimsical bunch you are.

(2)(6)

BPP is a joke

Wow. Slightly appalled that the tone of this article is that students shouldn’t be complaining about the switch to the Waterloo Campus. That’s not why we’re angry.

We complained in term 1 that the London £2k premium should be removed as we weren’t getting anything different from all the other students doing the courses online. This was declined and we were told that we could book study spaces if we wanted. Jan comes along and obviously BPP had to close so no study spaces available. Students were not even told that Holborn was going to have works done. The building doesn’t even have carpet or wallpaper so it doesn’t exactly look like just “maintenance work”.

The Waterloo campus caters to GDL students and therefore doesn’t have the space or the resources for all of the GDL, LPC and Bar students. We have received no warning or apology.

Our ethics exam was cancelled just days before we were due to take it because BPP convinced themselves we would be able to take it. They make up one thing on Twitter while those who phoned in yesterday re the works were told that the Holborn campus wouldn’t be open until “at least the summer”.

BPP is absolutely awful. Do not go here. They just care about money and chase you 10+ times on the date of payment. I’ve been harassed even after paying on time. Disappointed. I’m paying £16,000 for a course that I’ve never attended physically while staff and admin constantly lie, fail to communicate and hide behind a ‘force majeure’ clause that stopped being relevant 6 months into this pandemic.

(40)(2)

Miasma

So much entitlement. So little acceptance of the reality of pandemic life. The London premium comment says it all.

(3)(35)

Lol

Lol wanting an elemtary level of communication and respect from an educational institution is apparently entitlement now.

(16)(0)

Joe

At least everyone agrees that all LPC providers are dog crap wrapped in cat piss

(14)(1)

Han

I’m currently at BPP part time and pre-pandemic I would commute into London anyway. I was only at BPP Holborn a month before the lockdown started and haven’t been back since. They claim to use market leading technology but numerous classes have crashed, had sound errors and have some throes who are unprepared for the technology.

I have had numerous friends on the course ask about the reduction of fees and they have just been ignored.

(6)(0)

Han

*Tutors, I was obviously so shocked by this I forgot to spell!

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Why would the London premium be reduced? What cost has been reduced this year?

(2)(13)

Amy

Glad I didn’t accept their offer and went to ULaw Bloomsbury instead. My experience has been great so far and staff go above and beyond to help (I use the library space daily with no problems). BPP seems not to care much.

(6)(0)

how?!

I know a guy who got 100% in one of the core LPC modules and 90%+ in all the other… Can someone please explain how is that possible?!?!!!???!?!!

(1)(8)

Harold C

It’s great that the person achieved such grades, but the LPC grades won’t make any difference to career prospects.

If you want to get such high marks for yourself then by all means do so. However, once you have experienced doing the LPC you will realise that no one cares about getting the highest mark, almost everyone just wants to pass everything first time and meet the minimum grade requirements in the TC offer and that’s about it.

The LPC isn’t something which people look highly upon, and so getting really high marks isn’t impressive.

A first class at undergrad is way more impressive than a distinction on the LPC.

As long as you pass everything first time on the LPC and get a minimum commendation you’ll be fine

(13)(0)

Legal Cheek softening the blow for their darling BPP

Legal Cheek very conveniently brushing over the real issue here: students paying a 2k premium for the London track because of the “facilities on offer”. Meanwhile, all BPP students are getting the exact same online course.

Besides, access to the Waterloo campus as a token of goodwill is a joke – little space and not to mention rat infested.

(5)(0)

Comments are closed.

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