New challenges in the UK Legal Education landscape: TEF, SQE and the Law Teacher



A recent series of changes in Higher Education in general, and legal education, in particular, are altering the environment in which law teachers in the UK are used to work. This paper will mention two particular initiatives: on the one hand, the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) a Government and market focussed scheme to drive up the standard of teaching and to provide information to students about the best provision of teaching. On the other hand, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) new proposed Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE). The SQE is also entangled in market forces, employability and consumer choices, it pretends to end with the inconsistencies in law degrees and trainings offered at the moment; and to help social mobility in the profession. Both initiatives have been received with opposition by many parties that contend their reasons and data are flawed. In any case, both initiatives are affecting law teachers that as a consequence have lately being faced with new demands by students, employers and university managers. We conclude with the assertion that nowadays in the UK many law teachers are confronted with many pressures, numerous unanswered questions and no space to voice their concerns on a rapidly changing legal education landscape.

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