Actually, I take the “BPP is a sausage factory” criticism as a compliment – Katie Best, BPP Business School

Producing the highest-quality MBAs is the unabashed aim of ‘sausage factory’ BPP. Katie Best is proud to see it deliver

My employer, BPP Business School, has been characterised by a number of critics as a “sausage factory”. It is believed that BPP represents the ultimate expression of the industrialisation of higher education. We are treated by critics as a smear on the face of UK higher education, encouraging the rationalisation of degree-level education and framing the student as merely a consumer. We are thought to make the student journey a little bit poorer because of it.

Actually, I take the “BPP is a sausage factory” criticism as a compliment – and not just because it reveals the nervousness of the establishment about the shake-ups in the sector we may prompt. Last time I looked, sausage factories were highly efficient, rational places that make money by providing consumers with a product they desire. Only a very small proportion of sausage factories make their money from churning out products of dubious quality; the rest focus their attention on making affordable, high-quality products that ensure repeat purchase.”

Times Higher Education supplement.

Do, please, read this wonderful parody.  I won’t be doing a parody – no need to… the article by Katie Best and the Poppleton University pastiche does it for me.
Our Sausage is better than yours

I spent 30 years in legal education.  I even managed to play a part in founding BPP Law School and was the first CEO  – which probably irritates the hell out of them now, given my present re-incarnation. BPP Law School and BPP Business Business School are run by the same team and owned, now, by US education firm Apollo who run the very large University of Phoenix in the States.

I am all for law schools using well produced course materials, multi-media;  even bringing some structure into teaching and deploying modern technology.  The last thing we need is students being churned through a professional course like sausages because that gives rise to minced brains and in these days minced brains are not going to do the work needed to the standards demanded.  Education is more than process.  Education is about learning, thinking, reflecting and taking responsibility oneself – owning the material being covered,  and using it to lay the foundation of a successful (and happy) career thereafter.

Let us just hope that Ms Best’s sausage machine thinking hasn’t escaped and jumped over the wall into BPP Law School – or has it…?  Anyone studying at BPP Law School who would like to tell me what it is like these days only needs to email me!  (Email)  Confidentiality guaranteed…. good or bad.

Why am I thinking of Pink Floyd.. We don’t need no EDUKASHEN… Teacher.. leave the kids alone ?

8 thoughts on “Actually, I take the “BPP is a sausage factory” criticism as a compliment – Katie Best, BPP Business School

  1. Interesting, interesting. I graduated from BPP’s GDL last year and have to say there is an element of truth to the ‘sausage factory’ analogy, in that they really concentrate very hard on teaching to the test, and towards getting as many of their students to pass the exams as possible.

    However, there the analogy ends. I found the tutors at BPP fantastically varied, eccentric and interesting – as well as accessible and friendly (in comparison to my experiences as an undergrad at Edinburgh). We were encouraged not just to think about how we’d write exam essays, but to engage critically with the issues at stake. In particular, the constitutional and EU tutors were fantastic at this, and really communicated a love for the subject. Even a ‘dry’ subject like tort was really brought to life and made interesting (hats off to John Clifford for this).

    I used to work for an educational company that ran franchise schools in China. On their website they proudly declared that they wanted to be ‘the McDonalds of English Language teaching’. They were roundly derided throughout the educational community for this, and rightly. It has taken many years for the stigma of this foolish marketing puff to wear off.

    My opinion is that this is a stupid and damaging quote, and that this woman needs to have her mouth sellotaped shut. As a former student of an institution that I admire, witha qualification I am proud of, I’m not happy to see her bringing it into disrepute.

  2. I am delighted to hear it. I know Peter Crisp, The BPP CEO, from the old days. He was one of my key team members all those years ago and has done well in developing those early beginnings into what it is today. – I have always liked him.

    BPP made a mistake last year – but they do a lot of things well. the GDL is more demanding in some respects than the LPC and BVC (They say the BPTC will be more difficult)

    It is important to have good facilities, good materials and both BPP and The College of Law – the biggest providers – do invest heavily in technology and people – as do the other law schools. I haven’t heard this type of nonsense from anyone in legal teaching… academic or vocational.

    I am astonished that Ms Best thought that her article would be helpful. BPP has been going for many years. It was one of the first serious private providers of education – initially on the Accountancy and Tax side. They employed some exceptionally talented and likeable people – this is why they did well and it was a pleasure to work with them in setting up BPP Law School.

    I will, always, keep an eye out on all legal education…. no matter who is involved!

  3. Pingback: And now a little bit of light relief – fancy a sausage? « Charon QC

  4. Pingback: Law Review: Piggies – Fast Track deportations – BPP gets University status. « Charon QC

  5. It’s been a while since I was at the College of Law but even back then it seemed to be moving to cheap tick the box web based ‘learning’ rather than rigorous class room debate and analysis.

    I worry that a private provider, looking to constantly raise profits to placate shareholders, will see these sorts of online, isolated, distance learning facilities which cut out the costs of industry drawn lecturers and paying for limited class room space as a easy money and the industry, on the cusp of de regulation will end up in a bankeresq mess down the line.

  6. I google BPP business school review as I had a couple of bad experiences with BPP (I should have done this before!).

    Today, I have withdrawn my application to study at BPP and would be looking to do so elsewhere. My experience with BPP: lack of communication internally & externally, poor customer service and extremely unorganised..

    I have a lot of patience, but too much happened to sum all up. Do yourself a favour and look somewhere else.

  7. This comment about BPP being a ‘sausage factory’ is actually very insulting to good and honest sausage factories everywhere…. The LPC at BPP is a bad joke, It is a cynical and mind-numbing environment. A sausage factory would actually provide you with a greater level of intellectual stimulation. Never go to BPP.

  8. From what I gather as a former BPP student, management competency is lacking and mixed up grades and failures the norm. The aggressive marketing campaign of its courses to overseas students is just to lure them in and take their fees. There is no value for money save the teachers there ( if they do not resign/get scaked halfway through the course, a frequent practice). This is a “sausage factory” at best, no compassion to students yet adept at a ping pong game of aggressive PR sugar coating. I regret going there. Please be warned. And Stay Away from this rubbish example of educational consumerism.

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