Oxford graduate sues university for failure to get a first 16 years ago

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Faiz Siddiqui, an Oxford graduate, is suing the university for £1 million in the High Court claiming the “appallingly bad” and “boring” teaching cost him a first-class degree and prevented him from having a successful career as a commercial law barrister.

Mr Siddiqui, who studied modern history at Brasenose College, told the court he 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 trained as a solicitor, but says his life and career have been blighted by his failure to obtain a first when he graduated in June 2000, according to an article in The Guardian.

He said he underachieved in a course on Indian imperial history during his degree because of “negligent” teaching which pulled down his overall grade.

His barrister, Roger Mallalieu, told the court that his client’s lesser grade “denied him the chance of becoming a high-flying commercial barrister”.

Oxford University argues that the claim is baseless and should be struck out because of the number of years that have passed since Mr Siddiqui graduated. The university admitted it had “difficulties” running the module in the year Mr Siddiqui graduated because half of the teaching staff responsible for Asian history were on sabbatical leave at the same time.

A judgment is expected later this month.

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