Oxford graduate sues university for S$1.8 million after failing to get first-class degree

Oxford University's Brasenose College. viewed from St Mary's.
Oxford University's Brasenose College. viewed from St Mary's. PHOTO: OZEYE VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

One of the world's top universities is facing a lawsuit that alleges it was responsible for "appallingly bad" and "boring tuition" that cost a graduate his first-class degree.

Mr Faiz Siddiqui is suing Oxford University for £1 million (S$1.8 million), claiming that he had been denied a successful career as an international commercial lawyer, 16 years after he graduated from the famous tertiary institution.

According to British newspaper The Times, Mr Siddiqui had studied modern history at the university's Brasenose College.

He graduated with a 2:1 (second upper class) in 2000.

Mr Siddiqui, who trained as a solicitor after university, claims he had underachieved in a course on Indian imperial history due to "negligent teaching".

The amount he is claiming against the university's chancellor, masters and scholars is for his purported loss of earnings.

His lawyer, Mr Roger Mallelieu, attributed Mr Siddiqui's insomnia and depression to his failure to gain a first-class degree.

Oxford, which this year was ranked the world's top university in the annual Times Higher Education rankings, has argued that its former graduate's claim is baseless given the number of years that has passed since his graduation.

However, Oxford did admit experiencing difficulties in running the module in 2000, due to the fact that half the staff who taught Asian history were away on sabbatical.