Cardiff University pays student £9,000 over vaccinations

Cardiff University Image copyright Colin Smith/Geograph

A university has to pay more than £9,000 compensation to a student who was told to leave a healthcare course for refusing to be vaccinated.

The student said in a questionnaire they had not had vaccinations in the past and would not have in the future.

But Cardiff University only reviewed it after the course started and decided there were health risks to patients.

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) has partly upheld the student's complaints.

The OIA, an independent body which runs the student complaint system in Wales and England, released the details of the case in a report.

It said the student, whose identity has not been made public, filled in an occupational health form at the start of the course.

However it was university policy not to review questionnaires until students had enrolled and this happened "a couple of months" after the course started.

The university referred the case to its fitness to practise committee, which accepted the right of the student not to be vaccinated, but decided they could not continue on the course.

The OIA said: "The committee considered whether the student had shown sufficient insight into the transferral of infections and viruses, and whether self-assessment of their own health would be a suitable precaution to mitigate the risk of infecting others.

"The committee concluded that allowing the student to continue on the course would put their health and the health of patients at risk."

The student was allowed to transfer to a "non-professional programme", but lodged a complaint and appealed.

The university accepted its information for students was not clear enough and the questionnaire process could have been quicker.

It had to pay £5,000 compensation for the "distress" caused by delays in handling the appeal and £4,342 for accommodation which the student had already paid for.

But the adjudicator ruled the university's decisions were "reasoned and evidence-based".

A Cardiff University spokesman said: "Whilst we don't comment on individual cases, we do fully co-operate with all OIA investigations and comply with any recommendations."

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