New FQPS Study Uncovers What Law Students Really Want (and Don’t) from Course Providers

Published
June 1, 2024
Reading Time
6 Mins

Just 19% of U.K. students in Higher Education say their studies experience has been wholly better than they expected, which is some way below a high point of 32% back in 2013. This raises critical questions about the state of higher education: Why has the experience versus expectations gap widened?

The Growing Demand for Legal Education

In 2023, 6,545 candidates took one or more of the FLK1 and FLK2assessments (SQE1), and 1,617 individuals took the SQE2 assessment (see 2024 SRA annual report). These numbers are more than double those from 2022, indicating a rapid growth in the legal education sector. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) aims to increase the number of open sessions to provide more opportunities for students and foreign-qualified lawyers to become solicitors in the U.K.

 

Implications of Rapid Growth

This surge in higher education enrolment highlights two key points:

1.   The legal education industry is evolving rapidly, necessitating more resources and innovative teaching methods.

2.   Students are increasingly confident in passing the exams, trusting the SRA's ability to maintain a stable and fair assessment process.

 

Challenges for Traditional Universities

However, this exponential growth poses significant challenges for established universities. Traditional course providers must adapt to new exam requirements and conditions. Despite this, many students report dissatisfaction with their educational experience.

Here are the top four reasons why student experiences are worse than expected in 2023:

1.   Teaching Quality: Repetitive and uninspiring teaching methods are prevalent, with 36% of students feeling that the quality of teaching is poor. Reading a lesson that students have already read in their books repeatedly is not teaching. More than ever, this should be well understood.

2.   Lack of Support in Independent Study: Support is crucial for enhancing learning capacities, yet 32% of students feel unsupported in their independent studies. Many studies show that support is highly rewarding and significantly increases learning capacities.

3.   Poor Feedback: Effective feedback is essential for student improvement, but 31% of students report inadequate feedback from their course providers. Nowadays, SQE course providers often just give students materials (books, self-practice books) and expect them to learn, understand, and assess themselves independently. Feedback from tutors is an essential element for students to improve and progress in their studies.

4.   Importance of Mental Health: Mental health is a growing concern among students. Felicity Mitchell, IndependentAdjudicator at the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA), noted that 2022was a particularly challenging year for students, with increasing levels of distress. This sentiment is echoed in the survey, with students calling for better mental health support and understanding from academic staff.

 

The Call for Change

These numbers are alarming and should raise awareness about the future generation's educational methodologies and ways of studying. It's concerning to see how much students must rely on Facebook and WhatsApp study groups, often with more than 700 participants, asking questions every day to find answers that course providers either don't or can't provide. They seek feedback that should be readily available from their course providers, yet they are left to fend for themselves.

 

In 2024, the majority of course providers have raised their fees. What for? Students still pay thousands of pounds for SQE preparation, only to receive the bare minimum in materials and are expected to self-study. For those lucky enough to join a course provider that offers tutor support, it's often outdated, with communication through emails, making it discreet (likely a strategy to minimise costs).

 

It's disheartening to see that universities could use this increased interest (and subsequent fee hikes) to improve and evolve their teaching methods, especially for a generation that spends more than four hours a day in front of screens*. Instead, universities prioritise wealth growth over improving education methodologies. And this is only for those who can afford these astronomical fees—what about those who aim for higher education but unfortunately can't afford it?

 

FQPS Academy: Leading the Change

At FQPS Academy, we are committed to revolutionising the educational system by addressing the core issues faced by students:

1.   Teaching Quality: Say goodbye to repetitive reading sessions at 2 pm and copy-pasting from law books when questions arise.We provide unlimited learning support and guidance with designated mentors for each student. With FQPS, 1 student equals 1 mentor.We believe teaching is about listening and understanding the student's needs, allowing mentors to target specific knowledge gaps and promote better progress.

2.   Support in Independent Study: This should be the norm, yet FQPS Academy is the only to offers proactive support and coaching to our students. Your mentor is not just waiting for questions; they are actively involved in your success. Your mentor will schedule one-on-one check-ups to address any difficulties or mental health concerns.

3.   Effective Feedback: Our qualified tutors provide comprehensive and detailed feedback on all assessments. Progress requires knowing where your gaps are. Our tutors are trained to identify problems and offer tailored tips, advice, and examples to help you improve.

4.   Mental Health: Our AI-powered study planner detects signs of overwork and alerts both the student and mentor to implement a discussion and assess mental health. Our educational platform is built to ensure students never feel alone. Taking care of our students is one of our top priorities.

 

Our Vision for the Future of Education

We believe in an inclusive, accessible, and affordable education system.Our innovative approach, combined with personalised mentorship and cutting-edge technology, aims to make studying a rewarding and enjoyable experience. By offering the most affordable SQE preparation courses, we strive to break down financial barriers and provide equal opportunities for all students to achieve their career goals.

With FQPS Academy, we aim to break the cycle where only universities and a select few students benefit. We are dedicated to creating a supportive, engaging, and effective learning environment for everyone.

Join us in transforming education and making it a chance for everyone to aim higher.

 

Sources:

·      * https://www.digitalinformationworld.com/2021/04/30-percent-increase-in-screen-time.html

·      https://www.hepi.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Student-Academic-Experience-Survey-2023.pdf

 

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