Oxford graduate Faiz Siddiqui is suing the university for £1m claiming that “appallingly bad” and “boring” teaching cost him a first-class degree and prevented him from having a successful career.
Siddiqui, 38, who studied modern history at Brasenose College, believes he would have had a career as an international commercial lawyer if he had been awarded a first rather than the 2:1 he achieved 16 years ago. He told the high court that he underperformed in a course on Indian imperial history during his degree because of “negligent” teaching which pulled down his overall grade.
He is bringing a loss of earnings claim of at least £1m against the chancellor, masters and scholars of Oxford University. The university is seeking to have the claim dismissed.
Siddiqui’s barrister Roger Mallalieu told the high court that his client’s lesser grade had “denied him the chance of becoming a high-flying commercial barrister”.
Whilst admitting it had “difficulties” running the module in the year Siddiqui graduated, Oxford University argues that the claim is baseless and should be struck out because of the amount of time that has have passed since Siddiqui graduated.
In the academic year 1999-2000, four of the seven faculty staff were on sabbaticals and the court heard from Siddiqui’s barrister that it was a “clear and undisputed fact” that the university knew of the situation in advance.
He told the judge that of the 15 students who received the same teaching and sat the same exam as Siddiqui, 13 received their “lowest or joint lowest mark” in the subject.
Elaborating on the subject his barrister told the court: “This is a large percentage who got their lowest mark in the specialist subject papers. There is a statistical anomaly that matches our case that there was a specific problem with the teaching in this year having a knock-on effect on the performance of students.”
“The standard of teaching was objectively unacceptable,” he added
Siddiqui’s legal team claimed he was “only one of a number of students who no doubt have proper cause for complaint against the university in relation to this matter”. A judgment is expected later this month.
Courtesy: The Guardian