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UWC’s LLB Qualification Fully Accredited

Author: Prof Jacques De Ville (Acting Dean of Law)

In April 2017, four universities were at risk of losing their accreditation for their LLB qualification.

​It is my great pleasure to announce that the University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) Bachelor of Laws (LLB) was fully accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) on Thursday, 14 June 2018.

In April 2017, four universities were at risk of losing their accreditation for their LLB qualification: North West University, Walter Sisulu University, the University of South Africa and the University of the Free State. UWC’s LLB degree received conditional accreditation.

At the time, Director of the Council’s national standards and review unit, Olivia Mokgatle, said the council found various issues related to staffing, the curriculum, teaching and learning assessment.

Based on the improvement plans submitted by Law Faculties in October 2017, three Universities were issued with notices of withdrawal in November 2017: UCT, Limpopo and Zululand. UWC again received conditional accreditation.

In the end, all law faculties had to ensure compliance with the LLB Qualification standard adopted by the CHE.

While we were in a somewhat better position than some other Law Faculties that had been placed on notice of withdrawal, the review process provided a good opportunity for the Faculty to reflect on its own identity, as well as its goals for the years to come.

The risk of losing our LLB accreditation motivated staff to work tirelessly for five months towards the three specific conditions the Faculty had to comply with:

-    the adoption of a strategic plan;

-    reviewing the LLB curriculum; and,

-    deciding on the person and role of an academic coordinator for the LLB programme, as well as a number of recommendations made by the CHE.

The improvement plan submitted by the Faculty in May 2018 was a joint effort of all academic and support staff.

The strategic plan adopted by the Faculty as part of the review process speaks of the Faculty’s vision in the following terms:

“The Faculty of Law is committed to being a prominent law faculty, renowned nationally and internationally for its high quality research publications, specifically in certain niche areas, for its innovative ideas, for developing graduates within the minimum prescribed time who are committed to social justice, and are furthermore well-qualified, workplace-ready, technologically equipped and have adaptive expertise for the 21st century, as well as for its extensive social engagement.’

This vision statement summarises what the faculty is all about, and where we will concentrate our efforts over the next few years.

The accreditation outcome means that our Law Faculty can continue to present our four- and five-year LLB programmes, and will continue to attract some of the best students and produce some of the best graduates in the country, as well as abroad.

The Faculty is delighted with the good news, and we wish to thank Mr Vincent Morta and Prof Vivienne Lawack for their continued support during the review process.

Warm Regards,

Professor Jacques de Ville

Acting Dean of Law

University of the Western Cape

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