A student tried to sue Oxford for £1 million for not giving him a good enough grade - but the judge told him it was his own fault

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Radcliffe Camera Oxford University Campus StudentsOli Scarff/Getty ImagesThe Radcliffe Camera, part of Oxford University's campus.

  • Faiz Siddiqui, 39, said that his failure to get a first-class Oxford degree held him back.
  • He attempted to sue the university for damages over his missed career opportunities.
  • The judge said his lacklustre career was his own fault, and suggested that he "lower his expectations."


An Oxford graduate, who tried to sue the university for £1 million ($1.4 million) because it gave him a lower degree result than he thinks he deserves, has had his case thrown out of court.

Faiz Siddiqui, 39, missed his goal of getting a first-class degree after studying law at Brasenose College in 2000.

He said he missed out on a glittering and lucrative career as a result, and tried to take Oxford to court, claiming that it was their poor teaching which denied him the qualification he allegedly deserved.

But, despite the case reaching the High Court in London, the judge threw out the case on Wednesday, according to legal documents reviewed by Business Insider.

Mr Justice Foksett said Siddiqui had failed to prove his case, and was essentially responsible for his own poor academic performance.

News outlets including The Times newspaper pictured Siddiqui at a hearing earlier in the trial:

Siddiqui was offered a training contract with law firm Clifford Chance after graduating and worked for a string of other law firms. He also had a spell at Ernst and Young, though he was later dismissed and is now unemployed.

It fell far short of the career he desired: Siddiqui wanted a post-graduate qualification from Harvard, and envisioned making large sums of money from subsequent employment.

Earlier in the trial, Siddiqui's lawyer described his client's 2:1 grade (an "upper second-class" degree, one below first-class) as an "inexplicable failure" which was cited as a reason he failed to get accepted as prestigious schools.

However, the judge ruled that there were other factors at play.

Oxford admitted that there were some flaws in its teaching during the time Siddiqui was a student, but argued that it wasn't reasonable to conclude that these faults were legally responsible for a students' lacklustre career 17 years later.

Foksett agreed. In the conclusion to his judgment, he noted that Siddiqui has "a firmly entrenched belief that all his post-Oxford problems lie with what occurred there. I have been unable to accept that this is so."

He suggested instead that he "lower his expectations at least for the time being and start using his undoubted intelligence to create a worthwhile future for himself."

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