MSc thesis not accepted by Oxford University Watch

pulkitji
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I am in a really complicated situation where my revised MSc thesis is not being accepted by Oxford University despite years of email discussions with the University and the OIAHE. They have not refunded my fees either and say it would be "unfair" to other students if they accepted my thesis. However, there were factors beyond my control and complete apathy on the part of the Physics department and the Proctors. I have paid international student fees and it is really hard to fight a case from India. Is this the right forum to discuss this? Can anyone offer advice since both the OIAHE and the University are ignorant of several facts and the difficult circumtstances (explained to them). First they say my complaint was partially eligible and then they changed their mind. The University also told me to submit a revised thesis last year and then rejected it by saying it is too late!! I told them if it was too late then why did they give me 6 months to submit a revised thesis? They should either refund my fees (6500 pounds) or accept my thesis. Any advice? The OIAHE seems biased towards the University. I also highlighted harassment issues and cheating by the Proctors in deliberately delaying my completion of procedures letter so that they can avoid the OIAHE deadlines of 3 years. Any help would be appreciated. thanks
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kjnkjnlknjlmklnm
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(Original post by pulkitji)
I am in a really complicated situation where my revised MSc thesis is not being accepted by Oxford University despite years of email discussions with the University and the OIAHE. They have not refunded my fees either and say it would be "unfair" to other students if they accepted my thesis. However, there were factors beyond my control and complete apathy on the part of the Physics department and the Proctors. I have paid international student fees and it is really hard to fight a case from India. Is this the right forum to discuss this? Can anyone offer advice since both the OIAHE and the University are ignorant of several facts and the difficult circumtstances (explained to them). First they say my complaint was partially eligible and then they changed their mind. The University also told me to submit a revised thesis last year and then rejected it by saying it is too late!! I told them if it was too late then why did they give me 6 months to submit a revised thesis? They should either refund my fees (6500 pounds) or accept my thesis. Any advice? The OIAHE seems biased towards the University. I also highlighted harassment issues and cheating by the Proctors in deliberately delaying my completion of procedures letter so that they can avoid the OIAHE deadlines of 3 years. Any help would be appreciated. thanks
To be brutally honest it sounds like they've given you a lot of chances and you've thrown them away and are leaving crucial parts out of the story,
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pulkitji
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That is completely false. The Physics supervisor never checked my thesis before submission to the examiners. He never helped me with the thesis at all. I can attach several documents to this forum if someone wants to go into a lengthy discussion here!
(Original post by kjnkjnlknjlmklnm)
To be brutally honest it sounds like they've given you a lot of chances and you've thrown them away and are leaving crucial parts out of the story,
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by pulkitji)
..........
To be honest, we get stories like this now and again, and never has there been one which has a) disclosed all the facts in a neutral fashion and b) had any basis for appeal.

You won't get your fees back - the payment of fees is not conditional on passing the course, it's about following the programme and using the resources for the standard duration of the course. You seem to have used them, at least through staff effort, for considerably longer.

No-one on TSR is going to find a loophole that bypasses 3 years of consideration by Oxford University and the OIAHE. Your best course of action, for your well-being and career, is to put this behind you and move on.
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ltsmith
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Why did they originally not accept your thesis?

There's lots missing from this post.
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pulkitji
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You should not make any baseless comments unless you know all the facts of the case. As mentioned in my earlier post, I asked if someone was willing to discuss it in more details. I also mentioned that I can attach several relevant documents to clarify the situation and provide the whole picture. I am not looking for any loop-holes here. I am seeking justice. The research was done through my employment and that is what makes it more complicated. It is a MSc by research degree which I had to opt for against my wishes as I was originally enrolled for a PhD. However, due to the complete incompetence of my employer, I had to switch to the MSc since I could not afford international PhD student fees without my salary being paid. I had to leave the project halfway as it had no merit and it was complete nonsense on technical grounds. About
600,000 pounds of grant money was wasted by my employer (the useless research continued with 3 other people even after I had left and had no results to show for). If you want to discuss the technical, legal, and financial issues in order to get the full picture, then that would be very much appreciated. I can provide all the relevant correspondence and documents right here in this forum if someone is willing to spend the time and effort in reading them. Before that, I do not appreciate any negative remarks or criticism. Thank you very much.
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pulkitji
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see detailed reply below.

(Original post by pulkitji)
That is completely false. The Physics supervisor never checked my thesis before submission to the examiners. He never helped me with the thesis at all. I can attach several documents to this forum if someone wants to go into a lengthy discussion here!
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by pulkitji)
You should not make any baseless comments unless you know all the facts of the case. As mentioned in my earlier post, I asked if someone was willing to discuss it in more details. I also mentioned that I can attach several relevant documents to clarify the situation and provide the whole picture. I am not looking for any loop-holes here. I am seeking justice. The research was done through my employment and that is what makes it more complicated. It is a MSc by research degree which I had to opt for against my wishes as I was originally enrolled for a PhD. However, due to the complete incompetence of my employer, I had to switch to the MSc since I could not afford international PhD student fees without my salary being paid. I had to leave the project halfway as it had no merit and it was complete nonsense on technical grounds. About
600,000 pounds of grant money was wasted by my employer (the useless research continued with 3 other people even after I had left and had no results to show for). If you want to discuss the technical, legal, and financial issues in order to get the full picture, then that would be very much appreciated. I can provide all the relevant correspondence and documents right here in this forum if someone is willing to spend the time and effort in reading them. Before that, I do not appreciate any negative remarks or criticism. Thank you very much.
We can only comment ont he information you put up here. This is an online forum, it's open to anyone, you can't get legal advice on here, you are opening yourself to advice from all-comers. Having said that, there are several people on here with significant experience of the assessment of postgraduate degrees, complaints processes, the ombudsman etc.

If you drip feed information, you will get advice based on the partial story you have told. To date -

It is a MSc by research degree which I had to opt for against my wishes as I was originally enrolled for a PhD <irrelevant to any claim of procedural error

However, due to the complete incompetence of my employer, I had to switch to the MSc since I could not afford international PhD student fees without my salary being paid. <irrelevant to any claim of procedural error

I had to leave the project halfway as it had no merit and it was complete nonsense on technical grounds. < then you accept there was no academic merit in your submission? this would appear to be your answer

About 600,000 pounds of grant money was wasted by my employer (the useless research continued with 3 other people even after I had left and had no results to show for). <irrelevant to any claim of procedural error

Nothing you have said here supports any case you might have.
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pulkitji
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Because the examiners suggested several changes to the thesis which were not possible without additional research work being done in the lab. Since I had lost my job due to differences with the employer on many issues (technical ones being the main one), I could not meet the examiners requirements. I told them during the viva that more work was needed in the lab to meet their requirements and that the Physics supervisor had no experience or knowledge of biotechnology (yes that was another point of conflict as I was forced to enrol in an irrelevant department via verbal threats). Additionally the examiners simply ignored my extenuating circumstances and difficulties faced during my employment (the results of which were in the thesis). I asked the Physics department to let me finish the lab work in their labs instead of the Wellcome Trust labs where I worked but they refused. If I had been a UK citizen, then I would have simply continued my PhD with a new project and abandoned the old one. However as an international student we have to pay 6 times more fees than local ones and I could not afford that.
(Original post by ltsmith)
Why did they originally not accept your thesis?

There's lots missing from this post.
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pulkitji
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
We can only comment ont he information you put up here. This is an online forum, it's open to anyone, you can't get legal advice on here, you are opening yourself to advice from all-comers. Having said that, there are several people on here with significant experience of the assessment of postgraduate degrees, complaints processes, the ombudsman etc.

If you drip feed information, you will get advice based on the partial story you have told. To date -

It is a MSc by research degree which I had to opt for against my wishes as I was originally enrolled for a PhD <irrelevant to any claim of procedural error

However, due to the complete incompetence of my employer, I had to switch to the MSc since I could not afford international PhD student fees without my salary being paid. <irrelevant to any claim of procedural error

I had to leave the project halfway as it had no merit and it was complete nonsense on technical grounds. < then you accept there was no academic merit in your submission? this would appear to be your answer

About 600,000 pounds of grant money was wasted by my employer (the useless research continued with 3 other people even after I had left and had no results to show for). <irrelevant to any claim of procedural error

Nothing you have said here supports any case you might have.
Should I attach all my documents here to give the whole picture? Do you have knowledge of DNA hybridization etc? Constant conflicts with the employer are the main basis of the complaint here. The University is supposed to provide a competent supervisor and proper lab facilities to ensure the successful submission of a thesis to the examiners. There are just some of the procedural errors Any lack of academic merit was due these problems and not my fault.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by pulkitji)
Should I attach all my documents here to give the whole picture? Do you have knowledge of DNA hybridization etc? Constant conflicts with the employer are the main basis of the complaint here. The University is supposed to provide a competent supervisor and proper lab facilities to ensure the successful submission of a thesis to the examiners. There are just some of the procedural errors Any lack of academic merit was due these problems and not my fault.
If the employer was your employer, then that is not Oxford's issue. it's not a procedural error.

The competence of the Supervisor is almost certainly going to be a matter of academic judgement, yours versus Oxford's. This will have been formally assessed, and that has already gone against you. You simply aren't going to be able to argue that point 3 years after the event unless you have new, previously unseen evidence.

The University isn't under any obligation to offer lab facilities it doesn't have. To take this to an extreme, if someone decides to research something that needs a hadron collider, Oxford don't have to provide one.

A research project also has to adapt, it happens all the time. Resources become unavailable, data returns nul results, Supervisors move universities etc. Part of passing is accommodating these setbacks.
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pulkitji
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
If the employer was your employer, then that is not Oxford's issue. it's not a procedural error.

The competence of the Supervisor is almost certainly going to be a matter of academic judgement, yours versus Oxford's. This will have been formally assessed, and that has already gone against you. You simply aren't going to be able to argue that point 3 years after the event unless you have new, previously unseen evidence.

The University isn't under any obligation to offer lab facilities it doesn't have. To take this to an extreme, if someone decides to research something that needs a hadron collider, Oxford don't have to provide one.

A research project also has to adapt, it happens all the time. Resources become unavailable, data returns nul results, Supervisors move universities etc. Part of passing is accommodating these setbacks.
The University itself is the employer (wellcome trust centre for human genetics oxford university) and phd was registered at the physics department via some bullying tactics by the employer. I did not many legal issues when I joined Oxford. After all It came to study and work and not to fight a legal battle. That is why it got so complicated since the phd thesis was based on the work done during employment.
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