Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The College of Law: Sale Agreed

The sale of the College of Law has been agreed. As predicted, the education business is to be spun out into a new company, and the existing charitable institution will continue to exist (helpfully changing its name to avoid potential confusion). I had previously doubted the reports that the private company was to control the degree awarding powers of the College, but the College's press statement has a bare statement that ' our degree awarding powers will transfer with the sale'. This simply cannot be true. I have spoken to both QAA and BIS today to confirm this, and whilst there were obviously limitations about what they could say to me about an active commercial negotiation, they confirmed that there is no legal mechanism by which the degree awarding powers can be transferred. It would be like Parliament transferring its law-making powers to Tesco.

I have spoken to the College's PR to ask them what this statement on their website (which was repeated by Nigel Savage in an interview here) is intended to mean, since it cannot literally be true. The PR lady naturally isn't a specialist in the ins and outs of Higher Education law. She explained that it was important to reassure current students, and that the sale is conditional on the receipt of a number of regulatory consents, which are expected to be forthcoming over the coming months.

In my view it is not very reassuring for the College's current students that the reassurance they are being offered is, in fact, literally untrue. As aspiring lawyers they may perhaps be as pedantic as I am about points like this. The College have now been back in touch with me to confirm that the FAQ on their site is potentially misleading, and will be taken down (my link may no longer work by the time you read this). It will be interesting to see what replaces it.

No comments:

Post a Comment