Graduate Sues Oxford University For Not Awarding Him A First Class Degree

A student has sued Oxford University for “boring” teaching which allegedly resulted in him getting a second class degree and in turn led to a loss of earnings in his career as a lawyer.

Faiz Siddiqui, 38, studied modern history at Brasenose College at the university and accuses its staff of “negligent” teaching of his specialist subject course on Indian imperial history, which led to him getting a 2:1 back in 2000, the High Court in London heard this week.

The trained solicitor now suffers from depression and insomnia, which he has linked to exam results and which he claims has led to an inability to hold down a long term job.

He is bringing a loss of earning claim against his chancellor, masters, and scholars of Oxford University, which lawyers have valued at £1 million.

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Roger Mallalieu, who is representing Mr Siddiqui, said the issue came down to four of the seven staff who taught Asian history being on sabbatical leave in 1999-2000 – the claimant’s final year.

Mr Mallalieu told the judge that 13 of the 15 students who received the tutoring and sat the same exam got their “lowest or joint lowest mark” in the subject, which he says shows a “statistic anomaly” in the standard of the teaching.

The lawyer also mentioned the “boring” teaching of a David Washbrook – who has reportedly since retired – but said there was no personal issue with the history professor who he understood was under pressure at the time due to staff shortages.

Oxford University says allowances, such as extra time on exam papers due to hay fever, were made for Siddiqui, and argue the claim should be struck down given the length of time since the graduate left the college.

A judgment is expected later this month.

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