Widening participation in higher education: The legacy for legal education

Journal article


Waters, B. 2013. Widening participation in higher education: The legacy for legal education. The Law Teacher. 47 (2), pp. 261-269. https://doi.org/10.1080/03069400.2013.790153
AuthorsWaters, B.
Abstract

New Labour’s first administration pledge to enable 50% of the adult population to pass through higher education by 2010 was predicated on the notion that an educated nation is beneficial and as such is linked to its long-term economic well-being. The dilemma confronting successive Neo-liberal Labour governments was that the creation of a more educated nation, was being proposed at the expense of the accusation that widening participation has caused a ‘dumbing down’ or devaluation of the degree qualification, law included. This article, among other things, analyses the various strategies which have attempted to achieve the policy, it will examine the effect that this has had on universities going into the 21st century with an emphasis on legal education. The author will attempt to show that widening participation has not fully achieved its intentions in that the effects have not been wholly beneficial; there are not the job opportunities available to offer the growing pool of graduates, including those with a law degree wishing to enter either branch of the legal profession. The author will also briefly explore the accusation that the law graduates are not attaining the kind of employment traditionally considered as being of graduate status. Sustainability of the policy has left the Conservative-led coalition government with no option but to introduce the promised rise in tuition fees initially implemented under Blair. As such, the future of higher education and indeed legal education is far from certain and this will be contextualised in a brief examination of the current state of UK legal education in anticipation of the eagerly awaited LETR review.

Year2013
JournalThe Law Teacher
Journal citation47 (2), pp. 261-269
PublisherRoutledge
ISSN0306-9400
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/03069400.2013.790153
Publication dates
Print24 Jun 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited15 Jan 2015
Accepted01 May 2013
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/87323/widening-participation-in-higher-education-the-legacy-for-legal-education

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