The biggest smash and grab since The Great Train Robbery?…

Podcast 51: Nigel Savage, CEO, The College of Law on the cost of legal education.

Today I am talking to Nigel Savage, Chief Executive of The College of Law about the rising costs of legal education on the LPC and BVC. In Legal Week this week there is a story about BPP Law School hiking its fees for the LPC by a ‘whopping’ 10% despite already being the most expensive postgraduate law school in London.

I have invited Peter Crisp, Chief Executive of BPP Law Schoool to do a podcast. As yet he has not been able to return my call. Nigel Savage has characteristically robust views about legal education and comments on the rise of 5% applied by The College of Law, contrasting it with the 10% rise by BPP.

Legal Week story


Listen to Podcast 51: Nigel Savage on legal education costs


I invited Peter Crisp, Chief Executive, BPP law School to do a podcast.  On this occasion he declined the invitation.

5 thoughts on “The biggest smash and grab since The Great Train Robbery?…

  1. fees go up – cue major drop in applications…
    or not!
    if this is a ssnip, surely the law schools are abusing their dominance in a RPM and europe should intervene…
    actually if you do get peter to speak, he seems a nice chap to me…

  2. What I would like to know is why the fees are going up while actual job places are going down? Between 1998-2001 those completing the BVC had roughly a 45-50% chance of attaining pupillage. In 2006 this dropped to under 25%. Yet students are going to the LPC and BVC phase in droves.

    TImothy Dutton may not want to raise the bar of degree class due to “diversity” issues. But out of the 456 pupillage places on offer in 2006, how many of those went to people with 2:2s? and how many of those fell within “diversity” criteria?

    Nigel Savage explains that CoL’s rise is in line with inflation. Ok, we could all swallow that if the price were not already extortionate. Are the teachers suddenly more qualified? The rent suddenly sky high (if they don’t own their own property), paper and books suddenly on ration? With the advent of online lessons and how cheaply those can be produced, one would think that the providers would take pride in having real business sense: eliminating wasteful spending and cutting costs where possible in order to remain competitive.

    The only diversification between Col and BPP I could glean from the podcast was that CoL’s class sizes are smaller and in a non-electronic format. Hardly a unique selling point. So is nursery school. A 5 % rise is still a 5% rise, whatever you competitor is doing, no matter how well you dress it up. And with the cost of the course up in the stratosphere, many students are working, or doing the course part time.

    In-person teaching may well be beneficial, if you are that type of learner, but so would classes at 6 & 7pm for course/work flexibility. The big firms invest roughly £200k in their trainees from start to finish of the TC. Ten, eleven, even twelve grand is not a vast amount of money to pay for the provider to get the trainee up to the required firm standard of capability, and it saves them precious time and money from doing it themselves. Providers have to pitch their fees at a level that doesn’t lower their prestige in the eyes of their bread and butter (the firms) but try not to alienate those who go without a training contract or pupillage.


    Degrees are becoming devalued…what is the ratio of those entering with TC to those not? Regarless of being a PLC or having charitable status, the prices are not that far off from each other. What’s an extra grand when you’re already paying London prices?! If profits are the distinguishing factor between CoL and BPP then why are the fees still in the same range? Wouldn’t it be interesting to know the cost price of course delivery, in contrast to the mark up.

    Law school providers take note. Law school is a bottle neck, and at present a lucrative one. The providers have to think about how long these extortionate prices are sustainable because at some point, the fashion will shift and the money will follow it. Even the mafia know not to squeeze everything in the first hit…so that they can come back for longer….

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