With ten firsts this year we match our record year of 2013. After their notable absences from last year’s first class roll call Hong Kong and Malaysia return to the fore but Pakistan continues to build on last year’s precedent providing our top scoring first class undergraduate student of 2015. Of the three graduate entry firsts, two studied independently; one in the United Kingdom and one in India. All the undergraduate firsts studied on Scheme A and all the graduate entrants on Route B so three years might be an optimum time to study the London LLB whatever your starting point.
Institutionally, with three first class students this year, Hong Kong University School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU SPACE) tops the league. Donald Chan, who is just 20 years old, was still at High School when he started the programme. He writes “I can still remember the first year of my law studies – I went to school in the morning and then to law lectures provided by HKU SPACE at night – still wearing my school uniform”. This does not however, make Donald our youngest first class student this year. He is pipped to the post by another HKU SPACE first, Martin Kwan who celebrated his nineteenth birthday shortly after he completed his final examination this year. Martin says that his success is down to the “University’s concise subject guides, supportive VLE and Askey’s inspiring Studying Law…” Thanking the Laws Programme, Martin describes the ULP resources as “very easy to use but yet extremely powerful and and fundamental” to his studies. Thank you Martin. If Donald misses out on being the youngest he makes up for it in other ways, for he started studying neuroscience full-time at UCLA in the United States of America in the second year of the LLB. “It was really tiring” he says “flying back to Hong Kong every now and then in order to attend the HKU SPACE lectures… [yet also] satisfying to be able to study two very different and rigorous topics concurrently”. Most of us find studying one rigorous degree hard enough Donald! The third HKU SPACE first is Yan Leung, a graduate entry student, who found studying for the University of London LLB “a challenging, yet rewarding experience” and will be recommending the programme to her friends. We’re always happy to hear that and hope that they will get first class degrees too!
Pakistan also has three first class students this year; all female. Two of them, Zunaira Shahid and Zainab Samantash studied at School of International Law, our newest institution in Islamabad. Zainab attributes her success to hard work, the support of her parents and family and the School of International Law “for providing its students with the most conducive environment and bringing together the most amazing teachers”. Zunaira tells of early experiences on the LLB, “I still remember waiting for my first year results, having already decided alternative degrees in case I failed”, but that wasn’t to be and instead she found that “the degree gave [her] the tools to develop [her] legal skills and that her “college was the perfect environment to hone analytical abilities”. Our third Pakistani first studied at Pakistan College of Law in Lahore and achieved the highest aggregate this year on Scheme A. Aima Asad is also the first student to have completed the Diploma in Law and gone onto achieving a first class degree. She is “proud to have been a student at Pakistan College of Law” and enjoyed studying the London LLB. “The experience… widened my perspective not just about… law but about how society operates”.
Our two Malaysian firsts both studied at affiliate centres in Kuala Lumpur. Amanda Cham studied at Brickfields Asia College attributes her success to the “3Ds: determination, devotion and discipline” and says that studying for the London LLB was “a roller coaster ride, but… also a very rewarding journey” and one for which she is thankful to “BAC, for the academic support… and all the love and support from my beloved family, lecturers and friends”. Chuan Yi Tan is an Advance Tertiary College (ATC) student, he says that achieving a first class award from the University of London “has given me the strength and confidence to pursue a Master’s degree” and like his fellow Malaysian Chuan Yi cherishes the support he received from “family, friends and lecturers at ATC” during his studies.
This year’s independent students are – not unusually – both graduate entry students. Amaan Zahir Khan is the first Indian national this century to achieve a first class degree, he says that studying indepently our “flexible laws programme has challenged him to think smarter, analyze deeper and push every limit”. Amaan intends to enter the legal profession and armed with a “sterling qualification in law” looks forward to a successful career. Amy Chang, an Australian national, studied independently in the United Kingdom and wrote her dissertation in the solitude of the Yorkshire seaside town of Scarborough. “I am thrilled to have been awarded a first class degree!” Amy says, studying for the London LLB “has broadened my intellectual horizons far beyond my expectations and, having developed a real passion for the common law”.
Congratulations to our ten firsts of 2015 and to all our students, who through the mission of the University of London International Programmes and with the support of our teaching institutions, their families, their friends and their fellow students have achieved a University of London LLB. On my own part, and on behalf of all my colleagues here at the University, I hope that each and every one of you, as proud alumni of the University, will use your talents not only for only for own good but for the good of all humankind to serve justice, love freedom and uphold the rule of law.
Director of the Undergraduate Laws Programme