Our education team are recognised specialists in discrimination law with specific expertise in disability discrimination claims. No student should be discriminated against because of their disability, race or gender by their university.

Many universities do not know or understand that their actions can even be considered as unlawful discrimination, others sadly act in wilful ignorance of their duties. Our specialist team can help stop the discrimination, hold those responsible to account and ensure a student is able to complete their studies free from adverse and degrading treatment.

Students can raise discrimination issues through internal complaints procedures, or it may be relevant when conducting academic appeals (for instance where a student has a disability and they were not provided with appropriate support during an exam). We have helped many students during internal appeals or complaints resolve their issues without the need for further action.

If a student has completed their university’s internal appeals or complaints procedures, then usually they will be given a right to make a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) for Higher Education. However, students should be aware that the OIA in considering issues related to discrimination does not act as a court. It does not investigate or make legal findings in the same manner as a court. Where appropriate the OIA may refer to the law and guidance on discrimination to form an opinion as to good practice and to decide whether the provider has acted fairly when resolving their issues. However, it would not make a finding that the provider had discriminated against the student.

In many cases it may be more appropriate to make a civil claim to the County Court and if the case is successful obtain damages against a university. All students should be aware that there is a very small limitation period for bringing a discrimination case in the county court– so student should always seek guidance over which action to take so that they do not run out of time to bring a claim.

Geldards offers a free telephone consultation to all students, which means you will have the opportunity to discuss your case with an expert lawyer before deciding on what action to take. We will always provide honest and impartial advice regarding the strength of your case and whether you should pursue it. Contact us now and arrange a free telephone consultation with one of our expert lawyers who will discuss your case with you, in plain English without any legal jargon. Our lawyers will consider your case and help you understand the best steps forward to stop discrimination and hold those responsible to account.

Services we provide:

  • Advising on whether a student has been discriminated against because of their disability, race or gender by their university

  • Advising on whether any discrimination by a university - due to a student’s disability, race or gender - can be resolved internally through a university’s complaints/appeals process without any further legal action

  • Advising and conducting a complaint to the OIA regarding acts of discrimination

  • Advising on discrimination claims to the County Court

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Adam Friel


Partner, London

+44 (0)20 7489 6448


Kevin McManamon


Senior Associate, London

020 7489 6446