The Law Faculty at Oxford has been ranked as "excellent" by more of its students than at any other university in the UK, in Legal Week's annual student survey. 78% of students surveyed awarded the highest available rating, "excellent", which compares to an average of just 32% for other universities, and 69.5% for Cambridge, which was placed second in the survey's results.
Commenting on the reasons for Oxford's results in this survey, Timothy Endicott, Dean of Oxford's Law Faculty, cited the high ratio of academics to students in the Law Faculty (approximately ten undergraduates per academic), and spoke of the importance of tutorial teaching. Tutorials, generally for two students at a time, give students a direct response to their own work from leading legal scholars, and equip the students to develop their thinking on a subject.
This intensive teaching is carried out in 30 individual law schools, in the colleges of the University. At the same time, however, Oxford Law has improved the aspects of legal education that can best be offered centrally, for example by introducing compulsory mooting (a mock appeal hearing in which two teams of students argue their case in front of a judge), and by establising the Oxford Legal Assistance programme (a pro bono, voluntary clinical project, in which undergraduates assist legal aid funded clients).
published Thursday 2 June 2011
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