Walter Sisulu University’s LLB programme secures re-accreditation

Walter Sisulu University (WSU) is on course to register new students for its law degree after the Council on Higher Education (CHE) re-accredited the
university for its bachelor of law degree.

In 2015/16, the CHE undertook a national review of the LLB programme, a peer-driven exercise which focused on the re-accreditation of existing programmes based on the CHE’s programme accreditation criteria and LLB qualification standard.

WSU submitted its plan to the CHE in October 2017 and subsequently learnt that the university was unable to convince the CHE that its emergency remedial measures were sufficient to warrant the continuation of its LLB programme.

Accordingly, WSU’s LLB programme accreditation was withdrawn.

WSU vice-chancellor and principal professor Rob Midgley said the institution had put stringent measures in place to make sure that it does not relapse into its previous state with all its academic programmes.

“It is a lovely, warm feeling because this has caused so much anxiety to so many people. We just had to accept that we had to fix it and we did,” Midgley said.

“The team that worked on this accreditation did such a good job even though it took a bit longer than we expected. They did their job properly and thoroughly.
I’m feeling really good at the moment.”

He added that the accreditation was conditional on a South African Qualifications Authority ID, and it may take up to a month before the university registers
new students into the LLB programme.

In addition to the university’s LLB re-accreditation, the university has also been recently accredited in the bachelor of social work programme.

The legal profession has widely expressed concern over the skills gap presented by law graduates when entering the legal profession and their ability to perform certain tasks they ought to know as graduates.

The CHE is the quality council for higher education and advises the minister of higher education and training on all higher education issues and is also responsible for quality assurance and promotion.

In November last year, the CHE released a report titled “The state of the provision of the Bachelor of Laws qualification in South Africa”.

By Kabelo Khumalo

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