BPP University College law school is to raise its fees by 5% for next year's intake, taking the cost of the Bar Professional Training Course to £16,540 in London.

The rises are across the board. LPC fees go up £650 to £13,550 and GDL fees up £450 to £9,400, but it's the BPTC fees which have provoked the greatest reaction within the market. Especially as only about 12% of BPTC grads will ever practise as barristers and years of oversubscription have left hundreds fighting for an ever-declining number of posts.

Although BPP, in common with other law schools, makes applicants aware of just how unlikely they are ever to use their qualification, the university will take just about anyone's money, the sole entrance requirement being a 2:2 from Crumbsville Poly. Which is surely just throwing fuel on the already towering inferno of unused wigs.

    Something young barristers cannot imagine
Banks remain extremely unwilling to advance loans, especially for a career path as precarious as the Bar. One of the very few still offering finance is BPP's exclusive partner Investec, which offers a five year loan at a not-very-cheap 9.9% APR. RollOnFriday mathematicians attempted to work out just how much a full-time BPTC student at BPP London would need to repay to Investec if they took out a loan to cover the full fees (NB fees are £3,000 lower in Leeds).
Amount borrowed to pay fees
Arrangement fee
Total owed at end of course
Total owed at end of six month payment holiday
60 monthly repayments @
Total repaid
Investec profit

And that's before such selfish trifles as a roof over your head and food on your plate. However law school dean Peter Crisp said "since 2009, the fees for many of our law programmes have either been frozen or increased at a rate below inflation...with a modest increase this year, overall the percentage increase in fees over the last three years has been small and in line with the current rate of inflation".

At least you can pay in instalments, desperately hoping that an elderly relative may die once per quarter.
Tip Off ROF


Roll On Friday 02 December 11 08:57

Since inflation is running at around 5% I'm not sure 'inflation-busting' is an accurate description for the rises. Still an obscene amount to charge though.

LauraP 02 December 11 09:45

Frank apologises. He used to be a City lawyer so he gets confused by economic concepts.

Anonymous 02 December 11 15:11

I never get tired of the snobbishness and myopia of RoF. Instead of questioning the regulator, the government, or the profession, for setting up the legal education system in this manner, they blame the course provider.

Also find the university and degree classification snobbishness quite amusing, considering in 2010 no students from the LSE got pupillages, but one from the open university did.

Anonymous 02 December 11 15:58

It is not BPP that have set the entry level at a 2:2 - if you think that is too low, speak to the Bar Standards Board - they set the minimum entry standards, and incidentally also set the number of students each provider is validated for and are also about to mandate an aptitude test which will apparently test all applicants fairly regardless of which school they went to, or whether they have been coached etc, but which you can also take again and again and again until you pass ... Nothing to do with the fee that will be charged for the test of course!!

FrankW 02 December 11 16:09

Understand your points, and - sure - there's plenty of blame here for the BSB.

But the aptitude test point seems like it can be fixed pretty easily. Last year, Kaplan, rather than waiting for the supine regulator and other bleating semi-interested parties (e.g. CoL chief exec Nigel Savage - who relies on a ceaseless flow of students), brought in its own test - and 48% of its students got pupillage.



Anonymous 03 December 11 12:20

Clearly you feel that anyone other than an Oxbridge/RG/1994 group 2:1 (or presumably, whatever level of educational attainment you have, considering the English need to base one's self-worth on who they can look down on) should be barred from the profession.

If you knew the stats on who is getting pupillage, you wouldn't be so cocky. Everyone going on the course knows the risks, and they go on anyway. You pays your money, you takes your chances. There are Oxbridge 1sts who fail to get pupillage; when you have Open University and UEA students and people with 2:2s getting pupillage, you might like to reconsider your views on what you need to get pupillage, and your rather sad and deluded sense of superiority.

Anonymous 03 December 11 12:30

What you might also like to do is actually look into Kaplan's stats.

Considering they "select for success" 60 students who they believe will succeed (a low number compared to other providers), it's pretty sad that they are unable a majority into pupillages.

The other providers, while having an entry requirement of 2:2, would have majority 1sts and 2:1s (it's called a minimum entry requirement). When you actually know what the composition of the student body is, then you can sniff in righteous indignation.

Finally, you might want to brush up on your "commercial awareness". Unless inflation is running at 0%, and Investec has no overheads, I'm quite sure their profit would be less than the difference between repayments and the principal.

Are you guys actually practicing solicitors/barristers? If you are, that is an absolute indictment on whichever firm took you on. If you're just frustrated former LPC students from a few years ago, that is sad.

Anonymous 06 December 11 12:26

Whilst one could make a good argument to bar people who achieve less than a 2.1 anybody with an ounce of common sense knows the risks they take if they do the BPTC with a poor degree from a mediocre institution. The cost for these courses, in effect moot training, is outrageous, why students don't question the value for money is beyond me! Same for the LPC!

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