University of South Wales student sues uni for £200,000 after getting a grade he didn’t like

‘I’m very, very keen that I take it as high as I can’


Umer Riaz, a former University of South Wales student, is suing the university after receiving a degree classification that he felt was incorrect.

Riaz came to Cardiff from Islamabad in Pakistan to study Chemistry in 2011 and achieved a third class degree after having to resit his first year when he didn’t get enough credits.

Riaz has said that he will take his battle to the “highest court in the uk” after already spending thousands of pounds on legal fees to sue the university over his final grade.

After a period of ill health when he had a fall in 2014, Riaz was falling short of the credits needed for an honours degree and he had exceeded the registration period for his course.

Riaz has said that he will take his battle to the “highest court in the uk” after already spending thousands of pounds on legal fees to sue the university over his final grade.

Calling the university “unreasonable”, Riaz said he was “quite good” at his studies and that the decision to not let him retake his modules has meant that he is without work and will miss out on studying for a PhD.

Riaz also said that each year of university cost him around £10,000 on top of thousands of pounds worth of legal fees.

He said: “It’s been very stressful. I went through trauma, I went through illness. My mum cries a lot, she cries too much”.

Riaz who represented himself in the legal proceedings also said: “My family wanted to give me the opportunity for higher study. My parents are illiterate, they didn’t go to school”.

After initially complaining to the Office of Independent Adjudicator (OIA) in 2018 and getting his claim dismissed, Riaz has faced a further blow as Cardiff County Court also threw out his claim on Thursday.

A USW spokesperson said: “We take all complaints seriously and are keen to uphold our rigorous standards.

“All of our processes have been followed fairly and accurately. As there may be further legal action, it is not possible to comment further”.

Despite the stress, Riaz remains confident: “I’m going to fight this even if I have to take it higher, even to the UN. A pass doesn’t mean anything to me. Having a pass degree is not going to help me get anything”.

Image credit: Umer Riaz