Wits University’s decision to discontinue its undergraduate LLB degree has been met with a mixed reactions from other universities.
The deputy dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria, Anton Kok, said Tukkies would not follow Wits’ lead and will continue to have future lawyers enroll for an undergraduate LLB degree.
“We recommend to our students to complete the BA (Law) or BCom (Law)before enrolling for the LLB,” he said. However, Kok said the University of Pretoria had recently changed its LLB requirements.
“We recently amended the curriculum of our LLB curriculum to emphasise the importance of research skills, analytical problem-solving skills and writing skills,” Kok said.
Tuks students are also able to complete a postgraduate LLB after studying for an undergraduate degree in an unrelated degree.
Jonathan Campbell, dean of the law school at Rhodes University, said that the change was a good move by Wits.
“The two year degree programme is the way to go, its educationally more sound,” said Campbell since the change allows for a broader and better legal education which he said is currently lacking in South Africa.
Campbell said Rhodes has had a similar programme to the one proposed by Wits since 1999.
While students are not allowed to register for the undergraduate law degree in their first year of study, they may register in their second year of study or alternatively register for the degree with a completed undergraduate degree.
Representatives of the University of Cape Town), University of Western Cape, and Stellenbosch University could not be reached for comment.