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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 and understand the importance of providing a first class student experience, and that the relationship is a complex one.

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Experienced Higher Education Lawyers

Our clients include institutions across the sector from higher education institutions through further education colleges, independent schools, special schools, maintained sector schools, academies and trust schools' to nurseries and early years providers.

How can we help?

We recognise that higher education institutions must have regard not only to student bodies as a whole but also to particular groups such as international students, post-graduate students and those under the age of 18 (whether students or others with whom universities come into contact, for example, outreach activities).

As far as student matters are concerned, our lawyers can provide advice on:

  • The resolution of disputes and critical incident management, including liaising with the press and relevant professional or regulatory bodies.  Such cases may involve student complaints or academic misconduct, violence on campus, personal injury, discrimination, child protection, sexual or drugs offences, and cyber-bullying all of which can be extremely resource intensive for the institution.

  • Student complaints, academic misconduct and appeals as well as 'general misconduct'. Including resolving student related disputes, dealing with the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, court and tribunal based litigation, formal mediation and Judicial Review.

  • The student contract - Contracts for the delivery of education are among the widest in scope, most complex in content, and least specific in what is promised and quantifiable. In an era where students regard themselves as consumers, we recognise the need for more transparency and certainty.

  • 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 regulations - Our team has extensive experience of drafting and defending regulations dealing with academic matters (such admission, appeals, assessment and assessment offences, ethics), regulatory matters (such as data protection, freedom of information, use of technology) and pastoral matters (such as disabilities, discipline, health and safety, drugs and alcohol, smoking).

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

  • Relationships with the students union including matters of governance and discipline of executive officers.

  • Student immigration issues by way of referral from universities.

Template Agreements, Policies and Procedures

For almost 25 years the team has continually developed specialist template agreements, policies and procedures which pave the way for models of best practice and excellence. Complementary policies cover drugs and substance misuse, the use and abuse of information technology, and data protection.

To discuss any of your student matters and how our lawyers can help, please contact Bettina Rigg on 020 7665 0960.

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VWV have a well-deserved strong reputation within HE sector. They are subject matter experts on equality and diversity and are quick to update on latest reviews and case law. But their real strength is their ability to correlate likely implications and actions needed by HEIs by their developed understanding and knowledge of Higher Education institutions.

  • Jacqui Marshall - Deputy Registrar and Director of HR
  • University of Exeter

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

Employment Law

Higher Education

Further Education

Michelle Bendall - Property Litigation Partner at VWV

Property Litigation

Landlord & Tenant Matters

Public Sector


News & Events

Highest Number of Partners Promoted at VWV
2019 is starting on a high for six of our lawyers, who have been promoted to Partners.
4 Jan 2019