UWC’s LLB qualification fully accredited
The University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) Faculty of Law is proud to announce that the University’s Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree 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, 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. Walter Sisulu University’s accreditation was withdrawn. 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,” says Professor Jacques de Ville, Acting Dean of Law at UWC, “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 its LLB accreditation motivated UWC Law staff to work tirelessly for 5 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,” Prof de Ville notes. “But the Faculty wishes to extend special thanks to Mr Vincent Morta and Prof Vivienne Lawack for their continued support during the review process.”
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 UWC’s Law Faculty is all about, and where we will concentrate our efforts over the next few years,” Prof de Ville says.
UWC Law alumni, students and staff have made their mark in the world, having been intimately involved in the crafting of South Africa’s constitution, and also taking part in international competitions, winning national and international awards and producing groundbreaking research - as well as providing legal outreach and counselling for those who need it.
“The accreditation outcome means that our Law Faculty can continue to present our four- and five-year LLB programmes, and will continue to attract of the best students from South Africa, as well as abroad.”