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Disability discrimination and rights of fairness

Disability discrimination and rights of fairness

Who did we act for?

We acted for David in connection with his dispute with a University, regarding his undergraduate degree classification.

What was the case about?

David suffered longstanding mental health issues throughout his degree course, but which deteriorated as the course progressed.  Nonetheless, David’s module results generally remained good.  However, there was a clear dip in his results when his mental health was particularly poor.

David was awarded a 2:2 degree classification for his undergraduate degree but did not feel that this accurately reflected his capability.  The University relied upon its strict regulations and refused to apply policies which related to borderline grades, stating that his results rendered him ineligible to benefit from the borderline policies.

This had the potential to significantly and detrimentally impact upon David’s future career,  in a meritocratic society. He believed he would fare better throughout his future with a 2:1 degree classification, which he considered he truly deserved.

Why David came to us?

David, supported by his parents, approached IBB due to our expertise in dealing with disability discrimination, that we specialised in higher education cases, as well as arguments surrounding fairness.

What did we do?

We reviewed the relevant communications which David had with the University regarding his poor mental health, obtained relevant medical evidence and carefully analysed David’s transcript, that is, the breakdown of each of his module results.

It became apparent to us that the borderline policies, which would have permitted the University to upgrade David’s degree classification from a 2:2 to a 2:1, applied as he had achieved 60% or higher in a certain number of modules.  Upon our careful analysis it became clear that David would have benefitted from the borderline policy had he achieved 60% in one of his modules, rather than 58%.

Having also carefully reviewed the evidence surrounding David’s poor mental health, we were able to make persuasive arguments to the University that David’s rights, and his disability, were sufficient to authorise the University to exercise their discretion to upgrade his degree classification.

Whilst the University refused to simply upgrade David’s degree classification, it afforded him the opportunity to retake one module in an attempt to increase his result from 58% to over 60%.  David accepted this offer and was thereby afforded the opportunity to improve his degree classification and as a further consequence, his future career prospects.