Seventeen years later, Faiz Siddiqui is still peeved about a poor grade he got in university—so peeved, in fact, that he's suing his former school for $1.3 million. At the High Court in London on Tuesday, a lawyer described how Siddiqui's dream of becoming an international commercial lawyer was crushed when a poor grade in the Indian special subject of his modern history course at Oxford University meant that he received a low upper second-class degree in June 2000, rather than a first-class or high upper second, report the BBC and Guardian. (In the UK, degrees are ranked based on a student's average mark.) Siddiqui, 39, who is unemployed, is seeking $1.3 million in lost wages while blaming "inadequate" teaching "in what was anticipated to be his favored special subject," his lawyer says.
Oxford acknowledges four of seven staff members who taught Asian history were on sabbatical during the 1999-2000 academic year. But a lawyer for the school—who describes Siddiqui's academic performance as "laced with inconsistency," per the Telegraph—says Siddiqui received the same instruction as he would've in any other year. Siddiqui disagrees, claiming 13 of 15 students in the same situation as him received their "lowest or joint lowest mark" in the special subject. He adds his tutor failed to notify examiners of his health issues; Siddiqui says his clinical depression and insomnia only intensified following his "inexplicable failure." A judge is expected to determine liability at the end of a seven-day hearing; the school lost its bid to have the case thrown out in December. A win for Siddiqui "could open the floodgates for similar claims," per the Guardian.