1 Why and how were all LLB offerings in South Africa reviewed?
The Council for Higher Education is the statutory body responsible for quality assurance in higher education in South Africa, and thus responsible for accreditation and review of higher education qualifications. From 2012 onwards, the CHE, in conjunction with the South African Law Deans’ Association and in consultation with the organised legal professions, worked on the development of a National Standard for the LLB qualification, against which all faculties and schools had to evaluate their own offerings. The self-evaluation reports of all institutions were assessed by peers and towards the end of 2016 site visits were conducted by CHE constituted panels of peer experts. The panel reports were considered, and the findings released by the Higher Education Quality Committee in April 2017, with 13 institutions conditionally accredited and four receiving notice of withdrawal. All institutions were required to address the conditions and concerns raised in Institutional Improvement Plans, due in October 2017.
The Improvement Plans were considered by the Higher Education Quality Committee and the outcomes of the appraisal was published on the CHE website on 16 November 2017. This records the Committee’s appraisal of the Improvement Plans as submitted with reference to the conditions and recommendations that were determined for each institution in April.
2 What are the possible outcomes of the review and re-accreditation process?
After consideration of the Improvement Plans, institutions were either re-accredited, accredited conditionally, placed on notice of withdrawal or had its accreditation withdrawn.
3 What is the effect of a finding of conditional accreditation?
The programme remains accredited.
(“Accreditation refers to a recognition status granted to a programme for a stipulated period of time after an HEQC evaluation indicates that it meets minimum standards of quality.”)
The institution is required to submit a revised improvement plan to address the conditions set by the HEQC.
4 What is the effect of a finding of notice of withdrawal of accreditation?
The programme remains accredited.
The institution must submit an improvement plan by May 2018 to indicate how the issues raised in the HEQC report will be addressed, including time frames.
5 How does the finding of notice of withdrawal affect current students?
Students currently enrolled for the LLB programme at any institution are not affected at all. They will graduate with an accredited qualification.
6 How does the finding of notice of withdrawal affect new applicants?
The programmes remain accredited and institutions may enroll new students as usual. This also
includes students completing BA/BCom (Law) programmes wishing to continue with the LLB programme.
7 How does the finding of notice of withdrawal affect prior graduates?
Degrees previously conferred are not affected.
8 What happens when an institution’s accreditation is withdrawn?
A teaching-out plan will be implemented so that all enrolled students would have the opportunity to graduate with an accredited degree. An institution may immediately apply for accreditation to offer a new LLB programme.
Issued 17 November 2017
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