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Why we’re a world-leading, truly international Law School - Q&A with our International Director

1 December 2020

This week we caught up with the Law School’s International Director, Professor Tonia Novitz, to find out more about the School’s international community, her ambition for our student mobility courses and her advice for students thinking about embarking on a law course.

If you could describe the learning community in the Law School in three words, what would they be?

Open, lively and interesting.

What is the Law School’s international community like?

The Law School is committed to creating a diverse student community and we are proud of our multicultural community in which one in three of our students are international, with 40 countries and every continent represented. International students usually feel at home quickly: Bristol is friendly and welcoming, with an independent and creative spirit.

What is your role in the Law School?

I am a professor in the Law School, specializing in labour law. I am also the School's International Director, which means that I have responsibility for admission of international students to our programmes, and I work with the International Office and others in the university to organise and develop international exchanges and partnerships, which we offer as opportunities for both our home and international students.

What are the student mobility opportunities at the Law School?

We provide a diverse range of student mobility opportunities, with our four-year LLB Law with Study Abroad and Law with Study with Continental Europe programmes offering the opportunity for a third year of study at one of our partner universities across the globe. We also have Law and Language courses offering opportunities for travel for those interested in exploring Spanish, French and German language and culture alongside their law degree.

How has COVID-19 impacted student mobility initiatives?

Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19 to travel and Brexit to existing Erasmus arrangements, we are committed to working with partner universities to maintain such opportunities, and even expand their scope. Our new initiative involving a ‘virtual Law exchange’ with a prominent Indian Law School (OP Jindal Global University) involving exploration of alternative dispute resolution shows our determination to enable international experiences for our students. 

What are your main research interests and how do these feed into the undergraduate curriculum?

I have been engaged in research on European projects investigating connections between labour standards and sustainable development, and this year will be supervising students' final year research projects on the relationship between employment and environmental law.

I am also the unit coordinator for our final year optional Employment Law unit for undergraduates, which involves topical issues, such as analysis of worker rights in the gig economy, protection from modern slavery and harassment at work. 

What is your favourite part of working/living in Bristol?

This is a wonderful city to explore and enjoy. The street art, music and theatre, but also spaces like the docks and the Downs, all make Bristol a special place. However, it is the people at work who make my job a continual pleasure. My colleagues are remarkable, talented and generous, so we have a great community into which we welcome our students.

If you had one piece of advice for students thinking about an undergraduate law course today, what would it be?

Think about Law as a discipline with the potential to open up many opportunities around the globe. It is not a narrow path, so you can search out what interests you and explore various career options – wherever that may be in the world. We'll be here to help.

Further information

University of Bristol Undergraduate Virtual Q&A Event – 9 December 2020

Thinking of applying to study at Bristol? Join our live Q&A session where you can ask Law School tutors your questions about our undergraduate law courses and what it's like to study at the University of Bristol.

Book your place:

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