I want to sue my University

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    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?
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    The situation sucks and I can imagine it would have been awful but I don't see that the uni has done anything wrong here. I'm not sure it would be possible to sue them over it.
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    I have heard many people suing their universities and everytime the university wins. You will have to find a lawyer which will end up costing you more than what your suing for.

    Best option would be to drop out and apply through ucas again in the next cycle. This is why open days are really important to attend, you can ask questions such as gender ratios, etc.
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    Take legal advice.

    They would have to examine the evidence that things were misrepresented to you v you failing to investigate properly. Actual inidents of the Uni misrepresnting things.

    It would be easier fo sue for sexual harassment if you have evidence and reported such incidents, but the uni did nothing.

    I dont think there is any requorement for gender balance on courses.
    Did you do any investigation? Surely you would have done so if it was an important issue?

    Talk to your SU, do they have an officer in charge of womens issues?

    Sounds like in any event you should study elsewhere.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Take legal advice.

    They would have to examine the evidence that things were misrepresented to you v you failing to investigate properly. Actual inidents of the Uni misrepresnting things.

    It would be easier fo sue for sexual harassment if you have evidence and reported such incidents, but the uni did nothing.

    I dont think there is any requorement for gender balance on courses.
    Did you do any investigation? Surely you would have done so if it was an important issue?

    Talk to your SU, do they have an officer in charge of womens issues?

    Sounds like in any event you should study elsewhere.
    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.
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    (Original post by AndrewSCO)
    The situation sucks and I can imagine it would have been awful but I don't see that the uni has done anything wrong here. I'm not sure it would be possible to sue them over it.
    This article here https://www.theguardian.com/money/20...-fails-deliver
    has turned out pretty helpful actually. I think there have been some successful suits based on what the university provided versus what they said they'd provide.
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    I'd definitely seek legal advice regarding the sexual harassment, but realistically I don't see how you can sue a university for the gender ratio on a course. Computing courses simply don't get many female applicants.
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    (Original post by Gman786)
    I have heard many people suing their universities and everytime the university wins. You will have to find a lawyer which will end up costing you more than what your suing for.

    Best option would be to drop out and apply through ucas again in the next cycle. This is why open days are really important to attend, you can ask questions such as gender ratios, etc.
    Yeah I was gonna try and find free legal advice to see if it was worth it.

    I had a long skype interview with my professor in June. She had ample opportunity to tell me whilst she was interviewing me. And I already knew the uni. No one expects there to be such a poor ratio. It made it easier for a harassing environment to occur.

    As I said to someone else, I cannot drop out as I cannot afford to. I will have no more sf left. It's so frustrating as I would totally do that otherwise.
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    (Original post by JamesN88)
    I'd definitely seek legal advice regarding the sexual harassment, but realistically I don't see how you can sue a university for the gender ratio on a course. Computing courses simply don't get many female applicants.
    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.
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    Trying to sue your uni will not go well for you, I can almost guarentee this...
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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.
    You're saying the uni should only accept people based on their genitals?
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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.
    Not sure tere is a duty of diversity. care to link me up?

    If you had depression due to it and a Dr will back that up then you cna try and make a compelling reasons claim to SFE to get them to disregrad the funing they gave you.

    You could try a complaint and use the advisors in the SU.

    Im not convinced by your claim though. Seems like you didnt do your research before accpeting. They will wnat real yangible incidents where the Uni has done soemthing wrong.
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    (Original post by Napp)
    You're saying the uni should only accept people based on their genitals?
    No of course not but I do expect them to a) be transparent as they are about the overall diversity of the university, especially in extreme circumstances such as that.

    Secondly, I would expect them to be making every endeavour to monitor equality and diversity as per their statement and make efforts to recruit more girls onto that particular degree.

    This year was something that I believe could have been foreseen.
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    (Original post by Chihiro95)
    Sure, but one woman? In what world is that an acceptable ratio?
    You might be able to find out how many females applied through a Freedom of Information request but you may well have been the only one. All the open days I went to this year for Computer Science had males outnumbering females by at least 20:1 if not more.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Not sure tere is a duty of diversity. care to link me up?

    If you had depression due to it and a Dr will back that up then you cna try and make a compelling reasons claim to SFE to get them to disregrad the funing they gave you.

    You could try a complaint and use the advisors in the SU.

    Im not convinced by your claim though. Seems like you didnt do your research before accpeting. They will wnat real yangible incidents where the Uni has done soemthing wrong.
    I could send you my uni diversity and equality regulations and official statement but then I'd reveal the uni and I really don't want to do that.

    Based upon what impression? I was fully aware of the field I was walking into but entirely unaware of the conditions of this course. I could not have foreseen this. I never expected there to be such a hostile environment.

    I will try the compelling reasons claim, thanks. I am just frustrated that I've had to deal with this in the first place. Uni should not be this hard.
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    (Original post by Chihiro95)
    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.
    I appreciate you've had a bad time, but unless you've asked about gender ratios and been given the wrong information then I can't see how the course was misrepresented.
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    (Original post by JamesN88)
    I appreciate you've had a bad time, but unless you've asked about gender ratios and been given the wrong information then I can't see how the course was misrepresented.
    Fine. maybe I'm barking up the tree in terms of what I'd be suing for but I reckon it's still worth it, if I can't get student finance to accept a compelling reasons letter, to do something about it.

    If it's for sexual harassment, failing to create a diverse and safe environement as per their promises, whatever it is... I will find one, and I will push to have something done as this is unacceptable.

    Free advice will probably be better than asking on here.
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    If you've been harrassed, I feel for you.

    On a wider point, I have zero sympathy for you. The impression I get is that you're not particularly resilient in the sense of getting anxious easily.

    Some of the issues you're bringing up are to my mind, frankly absurd.

    Duty of diversity? Misrepresentation? A course director would be utterly failing in his/her duty as a professional to be highlighting gender ratios, or indeed any demographic ratios to a potential student. I can't think of anyone I've met in university, save for a few union imbeciles who are interested in having students selected or recruited on anything other than personal merit - and gender isn't a merit.

    If rooms full of men are making you depressed and anxious, what on earth are you doing wanting to work in computing? It would be like someone who hates kids taking a degree in Early Years Education, or an animal hater reading Vet Science.

    It sucks that you're unhappy - but from my point of view - this is your problem. Not the university's, not society's.

    At this point, I'd even question what you even mean by "creepy guy". In my experience, that just means any male that a girl doesn't find attractive.

    Sorry - but that's how I see it.
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    (Original post by Chihiro95)
    I could send you my uni diversity and equality regulations and official statement but then I'd reveal the uni and I really don't want to do that.

    Based upon what impression? I was fully aware of the field I was walking into but entirely unaware of the conditions of this course. I could not have foreseen this. I never expected there to be such a hostile environment.

    I will try the compelling reasons claim, thanks. I am just frustrated that I've had to deal with this in the first place. Uni should not be this hard.
    1. Use the internal complaints procedure.
    2. When they dont do anything then you cna make a complaint to the independent arbitrator. You will have to understand the rules and policy sufficiently to show why they are in breach. I havent got the impression that they have breached , just that it was a heavily male attended course.

    neither of the above will cost.
    Consult a lawyer and it will cost serious £.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    1. Use the internal complaints procedure.
    2. When they dont do anything then you cna make a complaint to the independent arbitrator. You will have to understand the rules and policy sufficiently to show why they are in breach. I havent got the impression that they have breached , just that it was a heavily male attended course.

    neither of the above will cost.
    Consult a lawyer and it will cost serious £.
    Dude, have you heard of pro bono? Free legal advice?

    Plenty floating around, I promise that.

    I shall just have to clearly explain what happened, why I am unhappy (sexual harassment as well as being misinformed, not for want of trying) and see what they say.

    Thanks for the advice, and the CPR tip. That might solve my worries as I only want to do another degree/be away from that horrid environment.
 
 
 
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