Law faculty ­reclaims status

2017-11-22 06:00

The executive management of the University of the Free State (UFS) has welcomed the decision by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) to lift the notice of withdrawal of the accreditation status of the institution’s Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB degree).

The degree is conditionally accredited with a progress report required in October 2018.

The UFS’ Faculty of Law received the response to its improvement plan for the LLB degree from the CHE on Tuesday, 14 November.

“The university’s executive management is extremely pleased about the outcome and welcomes the lifting of the notice of withdrawal of accreditation status, as it comes during a critical time of the year when the new cohort of Law students is completing their Gr. 12 exams,” said Prof. Francis Petersen, rector and ­vice-chancellor of the UFS.

“Prof. Caroline Nicholson, dean of the Faculty of Law, and her team are commen­ded for the considerable effort put into the submission and the extensive attention that was specifically given to concerns raised by the CHE in terms of the number of credits in the degree.”

Nicholson is positive about future prospects.

“There is hard work to be done going forward in ensuring that the UFS LLB degree is the very best on offer in South Africa, but with the continued support and commitment of the staff and students in the Faculty of Law, this vision is achievable,” said Nicholson.

Lacea Loader, UFS spokesperson, said during 2016 a national review was conduc­ted on all LLB programmes in order to strengthen the qua- lity of legal education provision at all South African universities.

She said following this, on 30 March 2017, the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) approved the findings of the National Reviews Committee (NRC) with regard to the LLB program-me at the UFS, and placed the qualification on a notice of withdrawal of accreditation.

“The decision of the CHE comes after the faculty sub- mitted the improvement plan during early October, setting out for the CHE the changes that will be affected in the LLB programme for 2018 and 2019, as well as an outline of the new LLB curriculum it intends to introduce in 2020,” said Loader.

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