I want to sue my University

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    If you think you were missold or the course was misrepresented (have a look back at the marketing material you were sent, look at the website and your student handbook and the official emails and letter around your offer) then you may be able to complain to the CMA - https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ation-provider

    (for example this page gives the impression that the majority of the students in this department are women, if that isn't the case then I could see the CMA ruling that it is misleading. It's possible that the department are deliberately presenting women students in an attempt to attract more applicants, but if that's the case they should also explain about why the study environment is welcoming to a diverse student body and how harassment and bullying is dealt with rather than just pretending that they already attract a lot of women applicants).

    https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...nsumer_law.pdf explains your consumer rights as they apply to higher education.

    This wont help you personally though - a CMA complaint might result in the department being forced to provide improved and more accurate information.
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    Oh and with Computer Science degrees the opportunities to transfer are usually pretty good - if you contact universities ASAP about transferring into year 2 then you might be able to sort it out now and get onto a course that has an environment you're more comfortable with.
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    (Original post by Donkey******)
    This then happens again when you get to work. So what you're actually saying is consider a different career path.
    If she truly wants to be in this industry she can work from home if a room full of guys irks her so much. Otherwise not my problem. I just suggested that in case she wants to still study that subject now realising she her co-workers will be 90% male if she pursues it.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    If you think you were missold or the course was misrepresented (have a look back at the marketing material you were sent, look at the website and your student handbook and the official emails and letter around your offer) then you may be able to complain to the CMA - https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ation-provider

    (for example this page gives the impression that the majority of the students in this department are women, if that isn't the case then I could see the CMA ruling that it is misleading. It's possible that the department are deliberately presenting women students in an attempt to attract more applicants, but if that's the case they should also explain about why the study environment is welcoming to a diverse student body and how harassment and bullying is dealt with rather than just pretending that they already attract a lot of women applicants).

    https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...nsumer_law.pdf explains your consumer rights as they apply to higher education.

    This wont help you personally though - a CMA complaint might result in the department being forced to provide improved and more accurate information.
    If she had concrete instances, then she might have a case, but its all too hazy. She would be better off having followed complaint procedures then taking it to the OA.
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    (Original post by Chihiro95)
    Hello.
    Not gonna mention which uni but I should be entering year two next month, however that's looking unlikely. This is because of depression and other issues that have arisen due to an abysmal first year.

    Computing in generally low in no. of girls and high in no. of guys. I expected no less than that in my art+computing combo, but when I went to my first lecture of the year, I was a bit jarred to find out that I was the only girl on my degree.

    At first I thought I'd be ok and was determined not to make a fuss out of it nor let it affect me. A minority of the other students had a different idea as became evident. I found myself subjected to two leery, creepy guys who were both pretty patronising to my intelligence. One of these guys started being quite harassing as time went on.

    After that and some other situations, I found it very hard to make friends and get comfortable on my degree because I was afraid of what might happen were I to relax. I was stressed and exhausted by the gender situation and was super frustrated that it had to so clearly affect the way my classmates saw me. By term 2, I had become an anxious wreck and just being in a room full of men was enough to make me cry. I've got some pretty bad fears of men that I have to work through and some depression to manage. I almost passed the year and have been given one retake coursework to do over the summer, but I think I have to take a year out.

    It was just too hard and stressful having to deal with what I now know as sexual harassment on top of my studies. Being the only girl created a pretty messed up dynamic. My degree ended up feeling alienating and like there was only space for my looks and not my brain. Just because I'm a girl, ffs.

    Anyway, I am thinking of getting legal advice as I believe the course to have been misrepresented to me before accepting the place. I found out that my degree has consistently had three female students or less which was never mentioned to me before accepting my place through clearing. Also, I never imagined it possible that there could be such a poor gender ratio, especially at university level and find it unacceptable that this even happened in the first place.

    This is not the university experience I borrowed £9000 plus maintenance loans for. Do you think I might have grounds to sue for a refund?
    None of these things are the university's problem and most are outside of the uni's control you have no grounds for a law suit sorry


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    (Original post by Chihiro95)
    Sure, but one woman? In what world is that an acceptable ratio?

    The point that I'd be getting legal advice for is not just for the sexual harassment but the little forewarning. My professor had ample opportunity to tell me I would be the only girl as we communicated via skype a month before the course was due to begin.

    She misrepresented the course, so I accepted without taking it into consideration because I never once thought this could happen. Even the other computing degrees have a couple of girls.
    First of all the tutor may not have known as you always get late applications...secondly..even if she did know surely that comes under confidentiality that she can't discuss other applicants?

    also with student finance you get your course + 1 year so you still have three years of funding left
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    (Original post by Chihiro95)
    I had a long skype interview with my professor in June. She had ample opportunity to tell me whilst she was interviewing me.
    At that point, your professor would have no idea how many students would end up on the course - still less that you would be the only woman. She would not be able to predict the future. Even after Clearing in August, numbers will still differ between those who accept offers and those who actually turn up in September

    Unless you asked her something specific like how many women were on the course last year, and the professor lied, and you have a recording of her lying, then you have no case.*

    The diversity issue is a red herring. You would have to prove that the uni was not actively trying to recruit both men and women onto the course. Unless you can list all of the PR/marketing strategies employed by your department, you have no way of knowing how they recruit for the course and have no proof one way or the other.

    There is an argument that it does attract wonen, as you're on it. Plus your professor is a woman.

    *
    No one expects there to be such a poor ratio. It made it easier for a harassing environment to occur.
    I spent 20+ years in the IT industry and it was a sausagefest. If a largely male environment is stressful for you, then you are on the wrong career path.

    The "harrassing environment" was the fault of whoever it was who failed to take your complaints of harrassment seriously and to act on them. That is the more productive direction for your appeal. A predominantly male environment isn't automatically one where harrassment can or will occur, nor would more women on a course autonatically prevent it. It's like saying that a predominantly female student body can lead to bullying, so you could sue the uni for not recruiting more male students because that would prevent it. It's more the uni's culture which is the issue.*
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    I think the only thing you could take action on is not doing anything about the sexual harassment. If you've got medical proof of depression then you could get compelling personal circumstances from SFE which could give you funding to transfer to another uni or start degree again elsewhere. If you ask new uni, they would probably give you male:female ratios for the course. You could go to a different uni and be the only or one of few females but not have any problems.


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    (Original post by Cate1976)
    I think the only thing you could take action on is not doing anything about the sexual harassment. If you've got medical proof of depression then you could get compelling personal circumstances from SFE which could give you funding to transfer to another uni or start degree again elsewhere. If you ask new uni, they would probably give you male:female ratios for the course. You could go to a different uni and be the only or one of few females but not have any problems.


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    Its not clear whether specific instances took place or she reported them officially or followed the results up. Did I miss it? Ofc is there were incidents and they habdled it poorly then that would be good grounds for complaint and soemthing she could get assistance with. It wouldnt get her all her money back, unless there was some massive failure ir collusion by the UNi i.e a scandal. No impression that that is the case.
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    The uni is a big establishment, filled with academics, they'll know every legal loophole and there won't be a chance to sue them over gender ratios as they can't accept girls for the sake of it to rectify these ratios or other girls might have just not applied at all. You should do so,etching about sexual harassment though as the guys who were doing it to you should receive a warning or some punishment so they learn a lesso.
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    (Original post by Chihiro95)
    Hey. Thanks for responding, I don't know where else to go.
    I had reported throughout the year, had extensions because of depression, two doctor's letters, told my course leader and the women's officer at the SU.

    They have a duty to diversity though, which I believe they went against here.

    My course leader seemed pretty resigned at it and seems no action's been taken to up the ratio. I was also told by another professor that at least now I know what to expect from the industry I'm going into.

    I would totally do that but I already did a year 1 at another uni before doing Computing so have no SF for another degree. I would stay on but I obviously don't want to go back.
    I'm not sure you understand how diversity works. At uni, diversity is more about accepting all kinds of students and not restricting them to specific things because of who they are. And basically just judging everyone based on their skill and not gender, sexuality, religion or nationality. There is literally nothing they can do if girls don't want to do a computer science course. That would be forcing girls to take a course they have no wish to take. You don't see universities asking for specifically Muslim students because they want to be more diverse.

    I did a BTEC in IT was the only girl on the course. I'm doing computer science at uni, I don't doubt it's going to be guys in majority with only a few girls. It's mostly guys in the industry too, if you end up getting a job, odds are you'll be the only girl or there will be a few others with mostly guys around.

    Neither the university, nor your course leader could do anything about that.

    The only thing I can see which you could sue them about would be if you reported the harassment multiple times and no one did anything about it. And you have proof of it.
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    If you wanted more girls on your course you could have chosen something less male heavy. Uptake in computer science/computing in general is very poor from the female side of things anyway, so realistically it doesn't seem far fetched that you were one of a handful (if that) of applicants. You would have known that already had you done proper research.

    The making friends thing, albeit sad, is not enough to warrant legal action. That's a personal shortcoming.

    Echo others, get some legal advice re:sexual harassment, but you don't have much else to argue for based on your post.

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    Op, hon, you simply don't have a case.

    If you came into my law firm with everything you said, I would question your state of mind to be quite frank.

    If you were sexually harassed in any shape or form and you have evidence to suggest the uni failed to support you, causing a decline of your mental health then fair enough. However, it would be hard in a court of law to prove this as you would need evidence from your doctor. And a GP isn't exactly someone you can get expert psychological help with unless they specialise in psychology or psychiatry. Unless you did go see a psychiatrist then it you might stand a chance. However the defense would say it's inadmissible evidence esp if it was public hearing as doctor-patience confidentiality. So you'd lose either way.

    You just don't have a case for this to go to court and like others have pointed out you would need a lot of money to hire some real good lawyers. And what kind of compensation are you seeking? Money from the uni? Like what? Unless you have a whole lotta cash in the bank to hire a good lawyer that deals with misconduct or uni education/malpractice rather than a general lawyer then you really will struggle.

    If your uni failed to support you with this, then I would have either a) gone to the police b) gone straight the the chairman of the uni or c) just finish the course in that year or just drop out.

    It will be a losing game if you decide to sue them. It will look so bad to future unis and employers too. Suing them because of an unbalanced gender ratio? Erm what... If they false advertised and promised you that a lot of females are on the course which influenced your decision to go to the uni then you could sue them on legal grounds of false advertising, misleading representation etc. But you just can't prove that unless you have evidence. And to me, it doesn't seem like you have a thought in the sky let alone evidence sitting in your back pocket hon.

    Good luck, you'll need it.
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    Suck it up ffs.. what did you expect? It is like picking to study physics and being shocked that the majority are men? Are you that naive? If you can't handle a class full of boys then how do you expect to handle a real job where circumstances are not always in your favour. If you are being harassed I would suggest you call out the specific boys and make them feel embarrassed. Try make friends with your other peers.

    Talk about definition of a first world problem.. Thousands/millions of girls would die to be in the position you are, where you are gaining an education.

    You will not be able to successfully sue and no lawyer would take up your case imo.
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    I don't see how this is misrepresentation. How was the professor supposed to know you considered this to be material information? How could the university have known when they offered you the place the exact gender make up of the course? How do you know that had there been 2 other females, they wouldn't have turned out to be leery creepy stalkers? Why, if the professor had ample time to tell you didn't you use that ample time to ask?
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    Sexual harassment is inexcusable but that's the fault of individuals rather than the uni itself.

    The gender mix of a class should make no difference. It could be argued that it is sexist against the male gender to complain that they make up the majority of the class.

    Depression is never good and I would recommend counselling. As for suing your uni: it's just not gonna happen.*
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    Also, demanding to know the gender of people in a class is similar to demanding as to whether there will be disabled classmates or different ethnicity classmates.*

    A classroom is a diverse environment and the university doesn't owe you anything in that regard.*
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    (Original post by Chihiro95)
    Hey. Thanks for responding, I don't know where else to go.
    I had reported throughout the year, had extensions because of depression, two doctor's letters, told my course leader and the women's officer at the SU.

    They have a duty to diversity though, which I believe they went against here.

    My course leader seemed pretty resigned at it and seems no action's been taken to up the ratio. I was also told by another professor that at least now I know what to expect from the industry I'm going into.

    I would totally do that but I already did a year 1 at another uni before doing Computing so have no SF for another degree. I would stay on but I obviously don't want to go back.
    *

    yeah but what do you want them to do? Tell some of the males on the course to go away? Magic up some female classmates?

    I think you need to be realistic here.
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    (Original post by Chihiro95)
    Sure, but one woman? In what world is that an acceptable ratio?

    The point that I'd be getting legal advice for is not just for the sexual harassment but the little forewarning. My professor had ample opportunity to tell me I would be the only girl as we communicated via skype a month before the course was due to begin.

    She misrepresented the course, so I accepted without taking it into consideration because I never once thought this could happen. Even the other computing degrees have a couple of girls.
    So your main grounds for suing the university in question is a lack of gender diversity in your classroom and sexual harassment. Did these men in question physically touch you inappropriately, or was it verbal? You could have a case, truth be told if you bring this to the university's attention I'm sure they will compensate you personally, to avoid the lengthy and expensive legal proceedings. Could be lucrative.
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    (Original post by beautifulbigmacs)
    Also, demanding to know the gender of people in a class is similar to demanding as to whether there will be disabled classmates or different ethnicity classmates.*

    A classroom is a diverse environment and the university doesn't owe you anything in that regard.*
    A lot of unis will provide a gender split if you ask them nicely. Just research that can be found out beforehand.
 
 
 
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