University of Law says it will refund students half of their tuition fees if they don't find employment within 9 months of graduating

Institution says its move looks-set to 'shake-up' the legal training sector following a 97% graduate employment rate

Aftab Ali
Thursday 06 August 2015 11:31 BST
(Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

Students: how would you like to get a refund on half of your tuition fees if you don’t secure a job after graduation?

That’s exactly what one UK university is committing to by offering its graduates up to £7,000 back if they don’t land a job within nine months of leaving their course.

The University of Law (ULaw) in Guildford says it is launching the new initiative for its Legal Practice Course students, from this September, in an attempt to ‘shake-up’ the legal training sector following a 97 per cent graduate employment rate.

As the shifting landscape in UK education becomes engulfed with student concerns over value for money, debt, living expenses, and employability, ULaw says it is the first of its kind in the sector to make this type of move and is confident it will ‘revolutionise’ the legal-training industry.

ULaw’s offer comes as higher education institutions from across the country begin to compete for numbers in an increasingly competitive student market.

In January of this year, the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) announced it would look at introducing a rebate system for fee-paying students who failed to complete their degrees – even if they had fully participated.

At the time, UWS principal, Professor Craig Mahoney, said the UK’s publicly-funded universities must embrace “radical change” competition from private providers’ increases across the board.

ULaw’s CEO, David Johnston, however, described how today’s students want more than a degree – they also want a clear return on their investment.

He said: “For law graduates, this means one thing: securing a training contract or a full-time job upon graduation.

“Our experience in training highly-skilled law practitioners gives us the confidence and the assurance that our graduates will be in employment within nine months.”

Mr Johnston’s announcement has come after Scotland this week kicked-off exam results season as more than 150,000 pupils from across the nation found out their exam grades.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) announced how almost 25,000 Scottish pupils were heading-off to college and university after receiving their results which was a three per cent increase on last year.

Next week, however, some 300,000 pupils from across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland will be scrambling for university places – after receiving their A-level results – with record numbers expected to be accepted into thousands of vacancies after the cap on student recruitment was lifted, creating an extra 30,000 places.

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