Graduate gets £60k payout over 'false advertising' claim

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Media caption,
'I'm suing my university over Mickey Mouse degree'

A graduate who sued her university over her "Mickey Mouse" degree has received a £60,000 out-of-court settlement.

Pok Wong graduated with a first in international business strategy from Anglia Ruskin University in 2013.

But she claimed the university "exaggerated the prospects of a career" and sued them for false advertising.

A spokesperson for Anglia Ruskin University said the settlement was agreed with their insurer's solicitors, and they did not support it.

Pok Wong, also known as Fiona, said claims made in the university's prospectus were untrue.

She told the BBC in 2018: "They think we're international students [and] we come here to pay our money for a piece of paper, for the degree.

"But actually we care about the quality, we care about how much we could learn.

"They exaggerated the prospects of a career studying with them, and also they exaggerate how connected they are."

Dispute over payment

Last year, the County Court of Central London ruled in the university's favour and ordered Ms Wong to pay £13,700 of Anglia Ruskin's legal costs.

But the university's insurers wrote to the former student, offering to settle her £15,000 claim, plus the payment of her legal costs.

An Anglia Ruskin University spokesman said Ms Wong's litigation "has been rejected numerous times and has never been upheld".

They said they did not support their insurer's solicitors decision, adding: "We consider that they acted negligently and against the university's interests."

But Ms Wong wrote on Facebook that, despite the university denying any wrongdoing, "the payout is a proven victory".

Image source, Geograph/N Chadwick
Image caption,
Anglia Ruskin University said it believed its insurers acted "negligently and against the university's interests"

A spokesperson for the National Union of Students (NUS) said: "Students do have clear rights under law, and the report of the settlement does indicate a way students can seek recourse."

But the spokesperson added that the NUS would prefer students "to be partners in education", instead of seeking a financial settlement.