Inquest hears how former UoB student Raees Rauf took his own life after dropping out of Uni

He left UoB in 2018 after failing to sit his second year exams


An inquest has heard that former UoB student Raees Rauf took his own life after dropping out of University.

He began studying in 2016 but had to leave Bristol after not sitting his exams at the end of his second year.

Raees went home to Newton in Derbyshire where he took his own life in September 2018.

At the inquest which took place at Derby’s Coroner’s Court, Raees’ father Abdul raised concerns about the way in which Bristol Uni handled Raees’ deteriorating attendance.

Raees’ personal tutor Dr Isaac Chenchiah described how he stopped attending weekly tutorials and handing in homework assignments in his first year.

Chenchiah said that he emailed Raees asking if he needed any support but Raees did not respond.

After failing his exams, Raees did his resits and returned to Bristol for second year.

Chenchiah said it "wasn't unusual" behaviour and he had "no reason to be concerned" despite Raees’ continued absence throughout his 2nd year.

In 2018, Raees had to withdraw from UoB after not attending any of his 2nd year exams. He took his own life following this.

A spokesperson for the University of Bristol said: "Our thoughts and sympathies are with Raees’ family and friends.

"Staff from the School of Mathematics reached out to Raees on multiple occasions throughout the year after he stopped attending classes and exams.

"He was offered the opportunity to explain his absences several times, and was also given advice on numerous occasions about the support and help available to him.

"As Raees did not attend most of his exams during second year, and after several more attempts to engage him, we were unfortunately left with no option than to advise him that he would be withdrawn from his degree programme, and he left Bristol in June last year."

At the inquest, Chenchiah said that he would not do anything differently as a personal tutor if it were to happen again as he believes that pushing introverted students to communicate is sometimes counterproductive.

A senior maths lecturer Roman Schubert told the court that he believes the best way to monitor students’ progress and attendance is through regular assessed assignments, which have since been introduced.

He said: "In my personal experience, using assessed homework is a better way of checking on students who are not attending."

In 2018 Bristol Uni introduced student wellbeing advisors in an attempt to identify cases like Raees and offer greater support from an earlier stage.

If you are struggling to cope, please call Samaritans on 116 123 (UK and Ireland), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of the nearest branch. Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year, providing a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them.