Former University of Cambridge student died in uni room after being rejected from studying Master’s

Benjamin Faux has been described as a ‘gentle young man, with a lovely warm smile’


A former University of Cambridge student killed himself after finding out he was unable to progress to fourth year, an inquest has heard.

Benjamin Faux was previously a student at Cambridge before he was rejected for a Master’s in science and decided to continue his studies at University of Reading, The Telegraph reports.

He studied natural science at Cambridge for three years, completing his undergraduate degree in August 2022. Ben was then rejected for a Master’s, missing out on continuing his studies by only a few marks.

In a statement, his parents described Ben as a “gentle young man with a lovely, warm smile” and a “high academic achiever”.

The inquest heard that he told a member of the mental health crisis team that he felt “very disappointed” and said he “could have done better” after being rejected from Cambridge.

The inquest has also found that he spoke to another mental health crisis nurse, saying: “I don’t have a future – I would like to end being in pain and tired”.

After his rejection, the student’s “intensifying” suicidal ideation was also not picked up within Reading University.

At Reading he was “completely disengaged” from his studies, not attending the laboratory and “staying indoors a lot and playing video games”, the inquest found.

His father, David, told the inquest: “If a first-year chemistry student does not attend the laboratory once, they are hunted down mercilessly”.

David contrasted this with the treatment of his son, who in January 2023 “was not attending the laboratory and was not obtaining the data needed for his dissertation”. Despite this the university did not flag his absences as a cause for concern.

On 24th April 2023 Ben agreed with his academic supervisor to suspend his studies. Ben concealed this from his parents, and the university never followed up despite it being agreed with his supervisor.

Ben never formally suspended his studies but less than four months later he was found dead in his student room.

The inquest is still in-progress.

If you or someone you know has been affected by this story, you can contact Samaritans at 116 123, Mind at 0300 102 1234 and a list of Cambridge University welfare provisions are linked here.

The Tab Cambridge has contacted University of Reading for comment. 

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