August 19, 2017

News:

UFS allays fears over law degree

The University of the Free State (UFS) Law Faculty has allayed fears over rumours that its Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree was set to be discontinued after failing to meet certain standards following a national review exercise by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) in April.

A statement from the office of the Dean of Law posted on the UFS website states that the programme remains accredited and is still recognised by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) as it meets minimum standards of quality.

It said the evaluation process conducted on a peer-review basis had not been completed and was still ongoing.

“Following self-review and site visits by peers, the process is now at the point where commendations and shortcomings have been identified,” read part of the statement.

“All law faculties and schools have been asked to improve their LLB programmes to meet the LLB Standard, and no LLB programme has been de-accredited. All institutions retain the accreditation they had before the review process began and all institutions are working towards retaining their accreditation and improving their LLB programmes,” the statement said.

The process that was conducted under the auspices of the CHE is based on the LLB Standards Document which was developed in 2014-2015 with input from higher-education institutions and the organised legal profession.

The UFS Law School was given until October 6 to submit a progress report indicating how short-term aspects raised in the HEQC report have been addressed and an improvement plan to indicate how longer-term aspects will be addressed.

Also according to the statement, students currently enrolled for the LLB programme at the institution or any other institution found with some shortcomings will not be affected and will graduate with an accredited qualification.

“The programmes remain accredited and institutions may enrol new students as usual. This also includes students completing Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Commerce – Law programmes who wish to continue with the LLB programme,” said the statement, adding that degrees previously conferred are not affected.

The CHE is expected to evaluate the plans upon submission and the programmes will remain accredited until a decision is taken whether the improvement plan is sufficient and has been fully given effect to or not.

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