Patricia McKellar, Senior Lecturer on the Undergraduate Laws Team, recently visited Southern Africa. While she was there she took the opportunity to meet with students on the ULP. In Johannesburg she met with Patrick Musa (Year One) and Shér-Muhammad Khan (Year Three). Sher is studying the programme to gain a degree with a more Commonwealth perspective and hopes to begin working in commercial law in an international firm. He wants to engage with the emerging economy of South Africa and, through the programme, hopes to obtain the skills to let him achieve this. As there are no provider institutions in Southern Africa the students there are all self study. Shér-Muhammad Khan was home schooled so he understands the motivation necessary to keep going when there is little f2f contact or peer support. However, like other students, he has formed a study group and has recruited members from Trinidad, Singapore, Malaysia and the UK. Although he has never met them, he likens them to a form of ‘online cyberfamily’. The group meet regularly online to discuss aspects of the course with each member being assigned a particular topic to ‘teach’ the others. Shér-Muhammad says it helps him to feel less isolated and gives a sense of belonging.
Patrick Musa works in the Planning Department but always had an interest in law. As he was in employment he couldn’t take time away from his job to study for three years. The distance learning UL Law degree was the ideal way to allow him to gain a good qualification while still retaining his employed status. Patrick had researched other programmes and was was attracted to UL degree as it was provided jointly by six internationally renowned institutions. Although he was just at the start of his degree he was looking forward to the opportunity to increase his knowledge of law both to enhance his current career prospects and to give him a more international perspective in the future. When asked what his friends and family thought of him doing the degree he said ‘I’m living a lot of people’s dreams’.