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Higher Education and University Disputes in London
Embarking on higher education at one of London’s universities should be an exciting experience. You are starting a brand new phase of your life, and your future career aspirations are becoming ever-brighter on the horizon.
But sometimes disputes or other issues can crop up and, very soon, all that excitement can turn to fret and worry and what was supposed to be the path towards your dream can quickly become a nightmare.
Unfortunately, unfair treatment or badly thought-out decisions are increasingly causing problems for university students in London, as is over-subscription which is leading to a lack of personal attention to individual circumstances. As a result, students are often left feeling like ‘just a number’.
At HCB, we fervently believe that students should never feel like this. Every student, in our opinion, has a right to the best possible opportunity to realise their potential and achieve their career dreams. Precisely why we are dedicated to delivering specialist student legal help where it matters most.
London University Disputes
University College London, Imperial College London, South Bank University, the Universities of East London, Greenwich and West London, and Brunel, Middlesex and Kingston Universities are just some of the higher education establishments where students could be facing disputes.
The first step in any disagreement is to follow the internal appeals process and / or your London university’s individual complaints procedure. Documentation in support of your appeal will need to be prepared and you may need to attend a hearing.
Should you require assistance, you can engage a specialist London university solicitor. They will help you compile the necessary supporting documentation and will represent you at any hearing needed. London students who engage this professional level of assistance will inevitably stand a far better chance of achieving a positive outcome, especially when using the services of a specialist London university lawyer. This is particularly so when internal appeals are unsuccessful and cases must proceed to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, as this involves an in-depth investigation and review.
London University Breaches of Contract
As a higher education student, you are paying fees for your education, which means a contract exists between you and the university. This means if the university is found to be in breach of contract, you may be entitled to claim damages. Sometimes it takes a civil action to resolve a university dispute and this may involve a Judicial Review or a County Court claim. As previously stated, your best possible chance of reaching a successful outcome will come from engaging student legal help from a specialist higher education solicitor in London.
Academic Appeals in London
If you have unfortunately not achieved the results you know you would usually have attained and feel this is down to personal circumstances, then you may be able to lodge an application to the university to notify them of these circumstances. Any issues must be reported as soon as possible and there are usually internal procedures allowing you to do so.
London University Disciplinary Issues
If you are facing disciplinary issues you’ll no doubt be concerned at how they might affect your future career if the final decision is not in your favour. All sorts of issues can lead to a student being called before a university disciplinary or academic misconduct panel, including criminal convictions, cheating, bringing the university into disrepute and plagiarism. Such issues can often lead to exclusion, which makes it important to seek expert legal advice and support that will help you respond effectively to any allegations and ensure all the procedures being followed are correct.
Accusations of Plagiarism
University policy dictates that no student is permitted to utilise ‘unfair means’ in any examination. Plagiarism is the act of using another person’s work without acknowledgement, i.e. passing it off as your own. It also arises when assistance has been gleaned from another party other than when expressly allowed for joint project work. Sometimes accusations of plagiarism are unfounded and students in London find themselves needing a strong defence. A specialist London university lawyer will know the law surrounding this issue inside out and will be able to robustly defend your case.
Incorrectly Classed Degrees
Sometimes students end up with a degree classification that did not meet their expectations, which of course can be damaging in terms of their career path. If you are in such a situation, you have a right to dispute the classification. A university disputes solicitor in London will take you step by step through the procedure. If it becomes necessary you may need to go as far as the Office of the Independent Adjudicator and possibly even further to the High Court should you receive an unacceptable result.
Disability Discrimination in London Universities
No education provider is permitted to treat disabled students unfavourably. Refused admission to a London university on the grounds of disability would be classed as direct discrimination. Should accessibility to learning resources be limited then this would be classed as indirect discrimination. Harassment and victimisation are also classed as discrimination, as is unfair treatment arising from a disability.
Under the Equality Act 2010, education providers are obliged to make reasonable adjustments to make sure students with disabilities do not suffer discrimination. All higher education establishments must have a Disability Services Department which is responsible for making provision for disabled students.
If you feel you are a victim of disability discrimination, talk to the university first. If you then find the issues you are facing are still not being tackled then it is a good idea to seek advice from a specialist higher education solicitor in London. They will make sure you are fully informed of your legal rights and will take you step by step through any relevant action you need to take.
How HCB Solicitors can Assist with Higher Education Disputes in London
HCB’s specialist London higher education solicitors provide an in-depth and highly respected standard of advice and guidance to university students throughout the Capital. All of this comes courtesy of several years of experience. If you are a student based in London facing a further education or university dispute and would like support in making an appeal, or would simply like to discover what rights you hold, don’t hesitate to get in touch.