Former Student Suing College Over 'Mickey Mouse' Degree

Former Student Suing College Over 'Mickey Mouse' Degree

Well, we all know at least one graduate who'll relate to this former student's story. After two years of studying for her degree, Pok Wong is suing Anglia Ruskin University for leaving her with nothing but a Mickey Mouse degree that has not helped her career.

Pok Wong is suing her alma mater for more than £60,000 (€67,450) after graduating with a first. The student states that the institution's claims that “quality education and prospect of employment after graduation” were fraudulent, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

Moving from Hong Kong to pursue her studies at the university, Wong chose the university's Lord Ashcroft International School in Cambridge after being won over by the prospectus. According to the documents lodged by Wong, she felt her degree “does not play a role to help secure a rewarding job with prospects”, she claimed, adding that the prospectus had promised the course would leave graduates “well equipped” for jobs in the business world, following two years of “high-quality teaching”.

The 29-year-old's complaints about the university include a breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation, listing a lecturer turning up late and students being told to “self-study” among complaints. She also alleged she was “locked” in a room for trying to speak out about the quality of her course during her graduation ceremony, which she has branded as false imprisonment.

Ms Wong hopes the case will encourage other students to demand quality for their money and seek compensation if that quality is not delivered.

The prospectus convinced me that the university is really impressive,” she told The Sunday Telegraph. “But, as soon as I started in 2011, I realised there were failings. Although I graduated with a first class degree in 2013, it is a Mickey Mouse degree. I hope that bringing this case will set a precedent so that students can get value for money, and if they don’t they get compensated. Anglia Ruskin talked a good talk but then they didn’t deliver.

A spokesperson for Anglia Ruskin University told The Independent:

We are well aware of the claims made by this former student and we are robustly defending the current litigation. Despite being awarded a First Class degree she attempted to disrupt her own graduation ceremony in 2013 as part of her dispute with the university, an action which would have damaged the experience for many other graduating students. The student was asked to leave the stage and sat in a room adjacent to it. She was free to leave at any time and got up and left, of her own accord, once the ceremony was over.bHer complaints have been through the full Office of the Independent Adjudicator process. She then made a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office which was rejected after a thorough investigation. Subsequently, she has launched legal action against us and has been required to pay our costs at an earlier hearing. As this case is before the court we will not be saying anything further at this stage.

Wong is seeking a refund for her tuition fees and the living expenses from Anglia Ruskin University. The case may result in more colleges changing their marketing material as the Advertising Standards Authority has warned universities must be able to stand behind their marketing claims. The watchdog made six universities remove claims they made in their marketing materials last year.

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Garret Farrell

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