Following a Freedom of Information Act request, UK universities provided data about the progression rates of first year students on law degrees.
The information requested was:
(1) The number of students enrolled on the first year of each of the university’s undergraduate law courses for the academic year 2005/6.
(2) For each of the courses, the number of students entitled to progress to the second year of the course.
The information received is displayed below:
|All Law courses incl joint honours||
240 – 250
|CRIMINAL LAW RECORDED LECTURES, QUIZZES AND POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS
||Criminal Law Online|
|REVISION SEMINARS FOR LLB AND GDL STUDENTS||QED LAW REVISION|
Be careful when interpreting the data. The information requested and provided relates to progression rates; that is, the number of students enrolled on a course who, at the end of the year, were entitled to proceed to the second year.
Although failure of the end of year examination is probably the most common reason for non progression it is not the only one. Those not entitled to progress includes students who, before sitting the examinations, suspended their studies, withdrew from the course and/or transferred to another course. And, although a high rate of withdrawal or transfer might indicate a lack of satisfaction with a course, it should be borne in mind that some students leave courses for personal domestic and social reasons unrelated to the quality of the course. This is especially true of mature part time students. (For more on this see the comments by Professor Mulcahy Head of Law at Birkbeck College, University of London.)
I would like to express my gratitude to all the university staff involved in providing the information and to the freedom of information officers for their assistance – especially those who were willing to overlook my initial error in requesting the information prematurely and who held the request on file until the up to date progression information became available. I would also like to thank the Heads of School for responding with additional information and helping to put the data in context. Their comments are invaluable in interpreting the raw data.