University told to apologise and pay compensation to students suspended over protests
The University of Sussex will offer an apology and award financial compensation to four students who were controversially suspended for their part in the protests against the University’s outsourcing policy, following a critical report by the Higher Education Ombudsman.
The notorious suspension of five Sussex Students, who became known as the ‘Sussex Five’, by the Vice-Chancellor Michael Farthing in December 2013 was investigated by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education and ruled that the University management had not been justified in suspending the students.
In their report of the incident, the OIA said that the University had not “followed a fair procedure” in suspending the Sussex students and recommended that the University pay between £2,000 and £2,500 to each student for the “distress and inconvenience” caused by their suspension.
A University spokesperson conceded that they intended the implement the OIA’s recommendations, stating: “We note the OIA’s findings that there needs to be greater clarity and transparency of information in regards to the process for student disciplinary matters.
“We have established an independent working group to review and make recommendations on this matter. We anticipate putting these into effect through revised university regulations and will inform all relevant parties. Alongside this, the OIA’s case recommendations will be implemented.”
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