Was your course at UCL affected by strikes or Covid-19?

Students at University College London in the last few years have endured cancelled teaching and exams, closed facilities and classes moved online.

UCL has not provided the services it agreed to provide.

Join thousands of UCL students in this group legal action to seek fair financial compensation. There is no cost to join the claim, and you keep at least 70% of any compensation received.

FAQs

In our view, yes. There is typically a substantial difference between the price of a traditional university course and an equivalent online course. In our view, under English law, you are entitled to compensation to make up that difference for the period when your course moved online.
That will depend on which course you are on, and how your university experience was affected by strikes and Covid-19. We should be able to provide estimates of potential individual compensation as the claim progresses. In the meantime, you can see an initial indication of what your claim might be worth by using the Compensation Calculator
No. We will not ask you to pay anything out of your pocket at any stage. All costs will be met out of the compensation if you win your claim, with your contribution capped at 30% of the compensation.
If the claim fails, you don't need to pay us anything, and there would be insurance in place to cover any costs awarded to UCL. So win or lose, you pay nothing out of your own pocket, and there is no financial risk to you at any stage.
You can still seek compensation even if your tuition fees were paid by someone else, such as the Student Loans Company, a parent or a friend. If you are entitled to compensation, it will be paid to you, not to the Student Loans Company, since the claim is for compensation for breach of contract, not for a tuition fee refund.
We think that the claim has a good chance of succeeding, and we have received advice from a leading QC who shares that view. In addition, in several cases the Office of the Independent Adjudicator has ruled in favour of granting financial compensation for teaching time cancelled due to strikes; although its decisions are not binding on the courts, this is an encouraging precedent.
Yes, in our view. Covid-19 is not UCL's fault, but the question is who should bear the risk of the damage it has caused to students: UCL or the students. In our opinion, UCL is better able to bear that risk, for example by taking out insurance, and it is therefore fairer for UCL to pay compensation than it is for students to be left paying for services which they do not receive.
We do not think so. According to its accounts for the year ending July 2019, in 2018-19 UCL had net assets of approximately £1.3 billion, and paid more than 500 staff members more than £100,000 salaries each. In our view, UCL can afford to pay students compensation for the upheaval they have endured over the last few years.
Yes, the claim is open to all UCL students, whether from the UK, EU or outside the EU.
This is a ‘No Win, No Fee’ claim. There is nothing to pay up-front, and you can keep at least 70% of whatever compensation you receive, with up to 30% of the compensation used to cover legal costs.
There is no financial risk in joining the claim, since we will not pursue the claim unless we have insurance in place to cover all relevant financial risk. Also, the claim will only proceed if a few thousand students join, so we think there is almost no risk of UCL treating badly students participating in the claim. Obviously it would be totally improper for UCL to treat any student differently just because they have joined the claim; we think this is very unlikely to happen.
It will depend on when the claim gathers enough students to be brought, and after that on how quickly it is dealt with by the courts. If the claim succeeds and you are awarded compensation, your university would normally be ordered to add interest to the compensation for the period up to payment, so you should not lose out if there is a delay.

Students can seek compensation directly from UCL via its formal complaints procedure. If the university does not grant compensation, students can complain to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA).

However:

  • From what we have seen and heard, UCL does not generally pay students any compensation other than very limited sums.
  • If you complain to UCL and then to the OIA, there are strict time limits and you would need to carry out all work dealing with the OIA by yourself, probably without the benefit of legal assistance. By joining the group claim you have the benefit of a legal team representing you and effectively no time limit (the limit is 6 years) within which to start your claim.
  • The OIA takes a different approach to the courts when determining its recommendations to universities. In our view the courts’ approach may enable students to receive higher amounts of compensation.
This group claim is against UCL, but there might be similar group claims against other universities. If you think that a large number of students at your university would like to form a group claim, please contact us at Enquiries.studentclaim@studentgroupclaim.co.uk. In the meantime, you can also send us your details by clicking here.

About the group claim

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This group claim is being co-ordinated by Asserson Law Offices, a firm of solicitors in England and Wales regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (number 549779). Asserson is a leading dispute resolution firm with a proven track record of getting excellent results for its clients. Its recent work includes winning £60 million from the UK Government for a group of solar energy companies.