10 Nov 2008

Open University and College of Law extend their partnership

The Open University, the UK’s leading provider of distance education, and the College of Law, the country’s leading professional law college, have sealed their successful ten-year partnership for another decade.

Since it was initiated in 1997, the partnership has had a major impact on legal education by greatly widening access to, and participation in, this field. The collaboration has become the largest provider of taught law degree education in the United Kingdom.

There are over 5,000 students currently studying on the degree programme run by the OU/College of Law partnership. This supported open access programme has enabled almost 2,000 students to graduate with an LL.B. Others have chosen to combine law modules with other disciplines.
An array of successful solicitors, barristers, legal academics and researchers and other professionals are using their OU/College of Law LL.B degrees in advisory roles.

Professor Gary Slapper, Director of the OU’s Centre for Law, said: “Our partnership began in a different era; in 1997 there was no Human Rights Act and only one in ten adults had access to the internet. Since then we have had 10,000 students join our law courses, and now have over 200 tutorial groups across the country. We are set to help shape legal education over the next ten years with new technologies and a new global online degree.

“Law Schools in 2018 will be as different from today’s as today’s are from those of 1998. Our partnership is excited about having secured the opportunity to continue to lead in the design of distinguished and path-cutting legal education”.

Jane Chapman, Director of Academic Programmes and Board Member at The College of Law, said: “The College of Law is committed to opening access to the profession and this is what our partnership with the OU is all about. Our aim is to make it possible for anyone who wants to study law to have a chance of doing so. Over the past ten years this partnership has challenged the traditional beliefs and practices of legal education. We will continue to be the most innovative and challenging provider of legal education and over the next ten years we will develop a world class jointly awarded global online undergraduate law degree.”

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