5,000 students seek compensation – June 18

We recently announced an update to the student group action seeking compensation for classes cancelled by universities during the lecturer strikes. Numbers have swelled from 1,000 to 5,000 members in a matter of weeks, and continues to grow at around 500 new sign-ups a week. The story featured in The Sunday Times, The Independent on Sunday, The Times Higher Education, Wales Online, the BBC, and many regional titles.

With 5,000 students now signed up, our client Asserson, the law firm that specialises in precedent-setting high value litigation and brought together the compensation claim group, estimated that this claim against Universities has already risen to £5million, with the potential to rise to £20million.

The claim has also received formal advice from one of the UK’s leading barristers which concluded that the claims are likely to succeed, stating: “The overall merits appear to favour the students; they are consumers who have paid a significant fee in exchange for tuition, a proportion of which has simply not been provided.”

Shimon Goldwater, a senior solicitor at Asserson, said in the announcement: “The compensation claim against Universities is building rapidly. Not only are we receiving 500 new sign ups a week, a leading barrister’s advice reaffirms our long-held view that that this claim is likely to succeed.

Students are telling us that they have been following advice from their unions and the universities to use standard complaints procedures when asking for compensation, with absolutely no sign of progress. In fact, we have not heard of a single instance of a student receiving proper financial compensation for cancelled teaching time. Universities are presumably hoping that this problem will go away, but this claim shows that thousands of students are not willing to sit by and pay for a service which was cancelled.”