Make a Difference in the Real World; London South Bank University's School of Law and Social Sciences Not Only Serves Communities through Widening Access and Its Academic and Economic Contribution, It Also Develops the Skills That Employers Value

The Evening Standard (London, England), November 10, 2015 | Go to article overview

Make a Difference in the Real World; London South Bank University's School of Law and Social Sciences Not Only Serves Communities through Widening Access and Its Academic and Economic Contribution, It Also Develops the Skills That Employers Value


Byline: Niki Chesworth

DO WE have a duty to assist others? It is a profound question that will be discussed at a Being Human conference held at London South Bank University (LSBU) on Friday, November 20, which will include perspectives from different disciplines -- law, development, education, housing and social sciences.

One of the issues to be debated is that while the English legal system contains duties not to harm others, it does not contain a general obligation to assist others unless a special relationship of care has been undertaken -- such as by a parent, carer or doctor.

With topics including the Mediterranean refugee boat crisis, the welfare state and the commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of UK GDP on economic aid, this is a conference that sums up the civic nature of LSBU.

"Our students and staff share an interest in understanding the complexities of social life and negotiating the opportunities and hazards of rapid social change," says Professor Craig Barker, Dean of Law and Social Sciences.

Take student Becky O'Neil as an example. She has recently set up The Young Fawcett Society, prompted by one of her lecturers and meetings with students who expressed an interest in exploring how they could help promote social justice.

"This is not solely a topic which we study, it is a cause and struggle engrained in each and every one of us," O'Neil explains.

Vision: Craig LSBU, which has just been accredited as a Living Wage Employer, has a commitment to social justice and global responsibility which ensures that students are prepared to tackle realworld issues and make a difference. Law students, for example, can gain experience at the university's awardwinning on-campus Legal Advice Clinic. This serves the community by providing a valued public service, but also sums up how LSBU teaches.

"Our law students benefit from exceptional work experience opportunities -- as do all our students," adds Prof Barker. "Our courses are also highly vocational and prepare graduates for work by developing the skills and knowledge that employers value."

There is a similar narrative behind StreetLaw, which is an outreach initiative where LSBU law students engage with local school and college students to encourage them to better understand their legal rights and responsibilities.

Once again, opportunities like this are available to all students at LSBU. LSBU's Careers and Employability Service run a volunteering programme, working with more than 100 organisations. …

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