THE SUNDAY Times has ranked York Law School above Cambridge in its 2012 League Table despite being only four years old.
According to the National Student Survey, York Law School was rated as 1st for overall teaching quality; and the department gained an average of 86.1 per cent for Teaching Excellence, coming in just behind Newcastle which received 89.3 per cent and above Oxford which scored 82.8 per cent.
Graeme Osborn, YUSU Academic Affairs Officer, said that he was “delighted with the continuing excellent performance of York Law School.
“Their outstanding performance in this year’s National Student Survey (NSS) in what was their first year in the survey was very encouraging.”
York Law School was set up only four years ago and is the first of its kind in its vocational style of teaching through PBL (Problem Based Learning) sessions. Students are put into ‘firms’ and deal with realistic cases.
Despite being a relatively young law school, York has exceeded expectations and won higher ratings than its more traditional counterparts, such as Oxford or Cambridge, through using new teaching style.
Satisfaction ratings have contributed to the Department gaining such a high level of recognition.
Lucy Williams, secretary of the Law Society, said she could easily account for law students at York being so satisfied: “The best thing about York Law School is the unique relationship between students and staff.”
She added that she would be “surprised if you found another department within the University with staff as supportive, approachable and helpful as the staff at York Law School.”
Kirryn Mountford, a second-year law student, reinforced this view, commenting: “People feel like they are listened to, all the problems we have raised have been dealt with fairly quickly. People feel like they can get what they want out of the course.”
He also suggested the reason for such high levels of student satisfaction is a result of the “large amount of effort put into the application and interview process.”
Georgia Neblett, another second-year law student, commented that York deserves its high rankings because, “it is a really active course which prepares you for real life situations.”
Osborn continued: “In a year when the University as a whole performed relatively poorly in the NSS and is slipping down all of the major league tables, it is great to see departments such as the Law School performing to the excellent standards that students at York expect.”
Nouse reported last month on the poor assessment and feedback figures that many departments had seen from this year’s National Student Survey.