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Was the removal of disabled student from university discrimination?

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Was removal of disabled student from university discrimination?

It was reported in the news recently that a disabled university student was removed from her course on the grounds of her health.

The student, who is understood to have been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, was reportedly removed from her course after suffering several seizures. The university subsequently informed the student that she had been suspended from her course as she was, in their view ‘not well enough to continue’.

It is understood that it has been claimed that the university failed to implement sufficient support for the student to assist her with her studies as a disabled student, prior to the suspension having been issued.

The incident raises the question as to whether the university’s action in removing the student from study on the grounds of her health and their failure to provide sufficient support for the student amounts to discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

The University have stated, “we offered a range of support to this student to help her study with her complex needs, however ultimately we felt she was too unwell to continue her studies at the present time. This decision was taken solely with her wellbeing in mind”.

What is the definition of discrimination?

Under the Equality Act 2010, discrimination is the unequal/unfavourable treatment of an individual/individuals on the grounds of one or more of a protected characteristic. Protected characteristics are:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Pregnancy and maternity

If you feel that you have been treated differently or have been subjected to a detriment due to disability or one of the above protected characteristics, please call our specialist discrimination team on 0175 321 6399.

By Lucy Bishop, graduate paralegal in the dispute resolution team

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