Student gets £5k compensation after diss supervisor offers higher grades for sex

The lecturer was allowed to keep their job

A student has been paid £5,000 compensation after their dissertation supervisor offered them higher grades in exchange for sex.

When the student complained of the harassment, she was given a new dissertation tutor, but was not told what action the university had taken.

Seven months later, they were informed the supervisor had kept their job and simply been told not to contact the student.

The student complained to a watchdog, who ruled the university didn’t put any measures in place to support the student, or to recognise the distress caused, and ordered the university to apologise and pay £5,000 compensation.

The case, at an unnamed university, has been revealed as part of a series of claims settled by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA), the universities watchdog.

Student complaints are at an all-time high, and universities were offered to pay a total of £742,132 in compensation to students.

The OIA is where students take complaints if they’re unhappy with their uni. For those seeking refunds, it’s the port of call when the university’s own processes have been exhausted.

Just over 300 students managed to take their complaints about Covid to the OIA – despite universities rejecting the majority of claims.

Stats obtained by The Tab last year showed just one in 30 students who asked for a refund from their uni were successful.

In one case, a medical student was paid £5,000 after graduating early and missing out on a placement. Another student was paid just over £1,000 because of teaching cancelled during the pandemic.

Felicity Mitchell, Independent Adjudicator at the OIA, said: “2020 was an exceptionally challenging year for everyone who studies or works in higher education. We hope that we have helped students and providers to navigate some of the difficulties they have faced through the work we have done during the year.

“We received and closed more complaints than ever before, published information and guidance in response to the pandemic, and developed a well-received fully online outreach programme to continue sharing learning.”

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