An Oxford graduate is suing the university for £1m, claiming that his failure to get a top degree 17 years ago cost him the chance of a lucrative legal career.
Faiz Siddiqui alleges the “inadequate” teaching he received on the Indian special subject part of his modern history course leading to a low upper second degree when he took his finals in June 2000 instead of a first or high 2:1.
Along with this, he has also alleged that a tutor failed to submit medical information about him to examiners.
The legal battle between Siddiqui and Oxford has been ongoing for more than a year.
At the high court in London on Tuesday, Siddiqui’s barrister, Roger Mallalieu, told Mr Justice Foskett that in 2000 Siddiqui was a “driven young man” aiming for a postgraduate qualification from an Ivy League university before a career at the tax bar in England or a major US law firm.
“Whilst a 2:1 degree from Oxford might rightly seem like a tremendous achievement to most, it fell significantly short of Mr Siddiqui’s expectations and was, to him, a huge disappointment,” Mallalieu said.
Siddiqui’s employment history after Oxford in legal and tax roles was “frankly poor” and he was now unemployed, the barrister added. “Mr Siddiqui has been badly let down by Oxford. He went there with high – perhaps extraordinarily high – expectations.
Siddiqui is bringing a loss of earnings claim of at least £1m against the chancellor, masters and scholars of Oxford University.
The university denies negligence and causation and says the case has been brought “massively” outside the legal time limit.
If Siddiqui wins, the case could open the floodgates for similar claims from students complaining about inadequate teaching , unsuitable accommodation and poor decisions.
The seven-day hearing is concerned only with liability, with damages to be assessed later if Siddiqui succeeds.