UK's first for-profit university still meets grade

The University of Law has had its elevation to university status rubber-stamped by the government.

August 8, 2013

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills has written to the institution to confirm that it continues to meet the criteria for university title, following its £200 million sale to Montagu Private Equity.

In November 2012, BIS awarded university status to the previously charitable College of Law.

Once that status had been awarded, Montagu completed its purchase, turning the University of Law into a for-profit institution.

In November 2012, BIS introduced guidelines requiring that within three months of the completion of any sale or change of ownership, universities must undergo checks to see if they continue to meet the criteria for their title.

To qualify for university title, institutions must show they have at least 1,000 full-time equivalent higher education students and meet standards on corporate, financial and academic governance.

BIS has now confirmed that the University of Law continues to meet those criteria after seeking advice from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Quality Assurance Agency.

The initial award of university title to the University of Law was rushed through to meet a deadline in its sale to Montagu, THE revealed earlier this year.

The University of Law announced the confirmation of its university status just as BPP – its rival in the legal education sector – announced it had become the second for-profit institution to be granted university status.

Both institutions gained their titles via the Companies House route used by BIS for private providers seeking university status, rather than via the Privy Council path used by publicly-funded institutions.

Nigel Savage, president and provost of the University of Law, said: “As the world’s leading professional law school dedicated to increasing student choice and creating the highest quality education for aspiring lawyers, we are very pleased that BIS, Hefce and the Quality Assurance Agency all continue to support our role as a university dedicated to excellence in legal professional education.”

john.morgan@tsleducation.com

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