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Student Matters

Legal Advice on Higher Education Student Matters

The lawyers within our student matters team are acutely aware of the many and varied issues that can arise within higher education and understand the importance of providing a first class student experience.

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Experienced Higher Education Lawyers

Our clients include institutions across the sector from traditional campus and metropolitan universities and colleges  to new alternative providers and historic professional bodies.  As experienced advisers to the full range of education institutions we also understand the interplay between the secondary and tertiary sectors, which is becoming more apparent.

How can we help?

We recognise that higher education institutions must have regard not only to the needs and requirements of students generally but also to the interests of particular groups such as international students, post-graduates and those under the age of 18.

Our lawyers can provide advice on:

  • The resolution of complex disputes and critical incident management, including liaising with the media and relevant professional or regulatory bodies. Such cases may involve academic misconduct, harassment or violence on or off campus, safeguarding concerns, equality and discrimination leading to escalated action, all of which can be reputationally sensitive and extremely resource intensive for the institution.

  • Handling student complaints and appeals including internal proceedings as well as referrals to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, court and tribunal based litigation, formal mediation and Judicial Review.

  • The student contract - agreements for the delivery of education are among the widest in scope, most complex in content, and least quantifiable and specific in what is promised. In an era where students regard themselves to be, and are protected by legislation as, consumers, we recognise the value of and need for more transparency and certainty and have a template contract.

  • Student regulations and policies - our team has extensive experience of drafting, updating and advising on the application of regulations and policies dealing with academic matters (eg admissions, appeals, assessment and assessment offences, ethics), regulatory matters (eg data protection, freedom of information, use of technology) and pastoral matters (e.g. disabilities, discipline and health and safety).  We have developed a range of specialist template agreements, policies and procedures to aid with compliance and demonstrating best practice.

  • Operational issues - we also provide bespoke and niche advice on all aspects of: admissions, discipline , disability discrimination - including preparation of complex disability discrimination defences - regulation and inspection and human rights.

  • Student union - we are experienced in advising on issues rising from the relationship between institutions and their students' unions, including matters of governance and discipline of executive officers.

  • We have experience of drafting tenancy agreements for student halls, including those for wardens, as well as taking action against students who infringe those agreements.

  • Student immigration issues by way of referral from universities.

To discuss any of your student matters and how our lawyers can help, please contact Kris Robbetts on 0117 314 5427.

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The team at VWV was professional, responsive and supportive in providing advice in a fast moving and cutting edge area of law. The level of resource made available was exceptional (while competitively priced) and the focus of all the team was unstintingly to support the University and protect its reputation.

  • A University Secretary

Meet the Team

Our Education team is ranked in the top tier of Chambers & Partners UK wide category and Legal 500.

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Bettina Rigg - Partner at VWV
Jane Byford - Partner at VWV
Clive Read - Partner at VWV

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News & Events

Growth in VWV's Higher Education Team
Claire Turner, the former Director of Legal and Insurance Services at the University of Exeter, has joined VWV as a Consultant Solicitor.
17 Jun 2019