Dear CR Students,
Congratulations on being admitted to the LLM(CR) programme! For the 2020-21 academic year we have 8 full-time and 64 part-time students in the programme. In addition, we have 64 part-time students in their second year of the programme.
The programme, now entering its fifth year, continues to develop and respond to the needs of our students and to the wider expectations of not only the industry but also society. Reflecting the latter, this year the programme was successul in receiving an innaugural grant of the Targeted Taught Postgraduate Programmes Fellowships Scheme, resulting in an award of 10 Fellowships.
Student composition. As usual, the CR student body is comprised of individuals from a range of backgrounds including from the financial services industry, the professions (lawyers, both newly graduated and practicising, and accountants), our regulatory and enforcement agencies, and so on. This brings to the programme a variety of knowledge, viewpoints, experiences and expectations that I hope you will all make the most of in your interactions both in and out of the classroom. It also presents an excellent opportunity to challenge yourself, and others, in the spirit of academic enquiry.
Getting the most out of it. I expect many of you have taken the programme to bolster your careers in one way or another. While this is laudable, each year I see too many students take too narrow a view of what they can gain from the programme. A typical example of this would be the student who wishes to take courses of immediate relevance to their current job. As a tertiary level, postgraduate study experience, the programme should be viewed as an opportunity for you to look wider and deeper into issues that affect the area of regulation and compliance, i.e. areas that you might not otherwise have a chance to be exposed to. Understanding the forces that move the “tectonic plates” of regulation and compliance will provide you with a knowledge and understanding that will serve you well into the future – regulation and compliance will continue to be reshaped by such forces. Accordingly, you should be prepared to look outside your immediate comfort zone to areas that will maximize your learning opportunities.
Pandemic challenges. This year we face unusual challenges in the teaching and learning environment as a result of the pandemic. What this means, for both the student body and for your teachers, is that interactivity will be valued at a premium. The online environment equally provides the opportunity to render “virtual” as either (a) tangible and meaningful, or (b) abstract and inconsequential. Do you choose to support (a) or (b)? Your individual and collectve contributions will make the difference.
Over to you. So, you have made it into the LLM(CR) programme – many applied to the programme but few were accepted. How are you going to make the most of the opportunity? Some suggestions: Do the assigned readings, then go and do some more outside the assigned readings. Interact in class, ask questions, challenge viewpoints that you disagree with and be prepared to examine your own viewpoint. Discuss material with your fellow students, and bring the discussions back into the classroom. If you do all this, you will get more out of the programme.
Good luck with your studies!
Executive Director of the LLM(CR) Programme