Ricochet News

Walter Sisulu University loses LLB accreditation, won't take new students in 2019

Nov 16, 2017
Walter Sisulu University loses LLB accreditation, won't take new students in 2019

The Walter Sisulu University, which has campuses in East London, Mthatha, Butterworth and Queenstown, will after 2018 not be able to admit new law students after failing a review by the Council on Higher Education (CHE).

According to university, in 2015/16, the CHE undertook a national review of the LLB programme, a peer-driven exercise and focused on reaccreditation of existing programmes based on the CHE’s programme accreditation criteria and the LLB qualification standard.

"Subsequent to the initial publication of the outcomes of the LLB national review in April 2017, the CHE called for the submission of plans for improving the quality of the LLB programmes at all 17 participating institutions in South Africa," explained Yonela Tukwayo, Walter Sisulu University Spokesperson.

"Walter Sisulu University duly submitted its plan to CHE in October 2017 and has now learned that the University was unable to convince the CHE that its emergency remedial measures were sufficient to warrant the continuation of the current programme."

Accordingly, WSU’s LLB programme accreditation has been withdrawn and it may not admit new students into the current programme from 2019 onwards.

“It is important to note that the withdrawal does not affect the validity of qualifications which current students are in the course of obtaining. The University will also be able to honour its commitment to persons who are admitted to LLB studies in 2018. Furthermore, we will make a special effort to submit a new programme to the CHE for accreditation during the course of 2018,” says WSU DVC for Academic Affairs and Research Prof Sechaba Mahlomaholo.

It is therefore important to note that the University will still be able to register new students for its LLB programme for the 2018 academic year.

Secondly, students who are already in the system will be afforded an opportunity to complete their studies, given that there will be a five-year “teach-out” period for the current LLB programme offering.

“The University advises students in the programme to make every effort to complete their studies within the prescribed period of study,”added Mahlomaholo.

WSU will soon embark on a process for preparing a new academic framework for the LLB programme.