Autistic and expelled from a leading university

by A young man failed by his university

Autistic and expelled from a leading university

by A young man failed by his university
A young man failed by his university
Case Owner
I am a young man who attained top grades at A-Level and read Chemistry at one of the country’s leading universities. I was not properly supported there for my disability, and my place was terminated.
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£1,745
pledged of £10,000 stretch target from 44 pledges
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A young man failed by his university
Case Owner
I am a young man who attained top grades at A-Level and read Chemistry at one of the country’s leading universities. I was not properly supported there for my disability, and my place was terminated.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: Sept. 29, 2022

Campaign update - we have now reached the trial!

Since I launched this campaign, there have been important developments in my case.

The College attempted to have my case struck out at an early stage, but this failed. The College appealed the decisio…

Read more

Introduction

I am a former student of the University of Oxford and one of its colleges, University College Oxford (‘the College’).   I have brought a claim against the College for terminating my studies after I was diagnosed with autism.  I need your support to give me the best chance to win this once in a lifetime case.     

My story 

I have autism.   I attained top grades at A-Level and went on to read Chemistry at Oxford.  While there, I was diagnosed with autism (Asperger syndrome), which was a massive shock to me and my family. It took a lot to come to terms with my diagnosis, but I decided not to give up on my studies and believed that with some adjustments and appropriate support, I would be able to continue with my studies and graduate.   

I was shocked and dismayed when the support set out for me did not materialise, despite the considerable amount of financial and other resources at hand. I raised my concerns over this and, half-way through my third year, the College terminated my place.

I thought I had a good future.  I had been told that I showed great promise and, with a good degree, I would be likely to have a successful career despite my disability. Sadly my dreams have been put on hold.  I have been unable to resume my studies and I am currently unemployed.  Despite this setback, I still have high hopes for my future and intend to complete my degree so I can lead a useful, productive and independent life in a career where I have a special interest. I believe I can make a positive and useful contribution to science.  

About my case


I brought my legal case against the College five years ago. I have worked tirelessly since then to prepare my case at every stage.   It has been no easy feat taking on a well-resourced institution singlehandedly, with many obstacles to overcome, although at last my claim has now reached trial where a full examination of my claim will take place before a High Court Judge later this year.   To have the opportunity of being heard by an independent court is very important, not only to me, personally, but because this case could set a precedent for the future management of cases like mine.

I intend to share the court’s judgement and outcome with you all when it is available to me.  

What do I want?

Despite what has happened to me, I am determined to complete my degree, to get my life on track, put my skills to good use and achieve the things that I know are still possible.   I bear no ill will towards my University.   I want lessons to be learned, not just for me, but for the benefit of all autistic students.  We struggle to fit in and feel accepted and too often the easy option is to give up and isolate.  It’s time now to take a stand against institutional bias and show the world that autism can be a positive characteristic that can be used to excellent effect in many important professions.   I want a chance to be welcomed back by my College, show my true potential and achieve my degree.  I firmly believe it is still possible.  


Why am I raising funds?

I have a legal team and the case has proceeded well so far.    Despite the College’s attempt to have my case struck out at an early stage, it failed and also failed in a subsequent appeal which was decided in my favour by Mr Justice Lavender at a hearing two years ago.   

It feels like a miracle that I have been able to keep my case on track.  I need to raise further funds so I can pay for the legal expenses for my trial.  It has taken five years to get my claim to trial.  

This is my last chance to get justice and I simply would like to ask you to consider donating to my campaign and share this page with family or friends who believe that everyone has the right to an education.   

All the money raised on this platform goes directly to my lawyers at Duncan Lewis Solicitors to cover my legal fees.  

I thank you for your support and for reading my page.   

Update Page

After five long years, and working tirelessly to overcome many obstacles and attempts by the College to derail my claim, I have finally got it to trial.    I want to thank you all for donating to my cause which has made a big difference to me not just financially but knowing that I have been able to connect with others through my story and have your support.   

My trial started on 30 May 2022 for eight days and was heard remotely at Sheffield High Court District Registry before His Honour Judge Gasztowicz KC.   

I gave evidence over three days when I was questioned at length by the defence barrister over 22 hours.   It was intensive, but I am pleased that I was able to speak for myself and be heard in court despite a number of people and tutors from my College present and watching me.   My parents also gave evidence and were questioned over two days.  

The next and final stage of my trial hearing will resume on 23 November 2022 for six days when the College’s witnesses are scheduled to be cross-examined by my barrister and expert witnesses will give their evidence to the court.    

Sadly, my original barrister became unwell and can no longer continue with my case.  It was sudden and unexpected and has caused me great hardship at this critical time.  I now have to raise more funds for a new barrister, a matter I had not anticipated or predicted.   I am naturally very worried.   I would be very glad if you could continue to support me and donate once more for this final stage of my case.   My lawyers are small in number, but despite this, they have performed completely brilliantly so far, and I am so grateful to them for their continued support in having got me through to this critical stage.   

So far, I have endured all the pain of the preparation for a trial without a judgement.   This has been a very difficult journey for me to take over several years. I have tried to open the minds of university staff to the realities of autism, as well as overcoming the difficulties pursuing my case.   

This is my last chance for justice and reparation, and I am running this campaign for the funds I need. Please donate to my campaign, and share this page with family or friends who believe that everyone has the right to fair support in education.   Sharing in social media could also help me to spread the word about this fundraiser.   

This is a David and Goliath battle and I continue to be grateful for your kindness and support.  

Update 1

A young man failed by his university

Sept. 29, 2022

Campaign update - we have now reached the trial!

Since I launched this campaign, there have been important developments in my case.

The College attempted to have my case struck out at an early stage, but this failed. The College appealed the decision, two years ago, at a hearing before Mr Justice Lavender. This was also decided in my favour.

So, despite these attempts by the College to derail my claim, I have finally got my case to trial before a High Court Judge. It has taken five long years to reach this stage.

I want to thank you all for donating to my cause. This has made a big difference to me financially and also through knowing that I have been able to connect with you and others through my story and have your support.

The trial started on 30 May 2022. It lasted for eight days and was heard remotely at Sheffield High Court District Registry before His Honour Judge Gasztowicz KC.

I gave evidence over three days when I was questioned at length by the defence barrister over 22 hours. It was intensive, but I am pleased that I was able to speak for myself and be heard in court despite a number of people and tutors from my College being present and watching me. My parents also gave evidence and were questioned over two days.

The next and final stage of my trial hearing will resume on 23 November 2022 and last for six days when the College’s witnesses are scheduled to be cross-examined by my barrister, and expert witnesses will give their evidence to the court.

Sadly, my original barrister became unwell and can no longer continue with my case. This was sudden and unexpected and has caused me great hardship at this critical time. I now have to raise more funds for a new barrister, a matter I had not anticipated or predicted. I am naturally very worried. I would be very glad if you could continue to support me and donate once more for this final stage of my case or circulate it to your networks. My lawyers are small in number, but despite this, they have performed completely brilliantly, and I am so grateful to them for their continued support in having got me through to this critical stage.

So far, I have endured all the pain of the preparation for a trial without a judgement. This has been a very difficult journey for me to take over several years. I have tried to open the minds of university staff to the realities of autism, as well as overcoming the difficulties of pursuing my case.

This is my last chance for justice and reparation, and I am running this campaign for the funds I need. Please donate to my campaign, and share this page with family or friends who believe that everyone has the right to fair support in education. Sharing on social media could also help me to spread the word about this fundraiser.

This is a David and Goliath battle and I continue to be grateful for your kindness and support.

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