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De Montfort faces legal challenge from students

Architecture students have met with a Leicester law firm to discuss launching legal action against De Montfort University.

The group - who were left 'enormously frustrated' after the prescription fiasco of earlier this year - are seeking lawyers' advice about winning compensation for the way they have been treated (AJ 6.3.03).

They are determined to receive recompense because they believe the school of architecture let them down in allowing teaching standards to fall below those demanded by the ARB.

Any legal action would be set against the board's decision to remove prescription from the both De Montfort's Part 1 and Part 2 courses, leaving the students without recognised qualifications.

The ARB then offered students who had passed the university's exams the chance to take independent board interviews to prove they were up to standard.

However, the AJ can reveal that only 14 of the 26 who took Part 1 passed, and just seven of the 13 going for the diploma were successful.

These results have left the students furious with the school. A source in the school's student body said they were astonished that such a small number were successfully educated.

'People are furious with the way they have been treated by the school, ' the source said. 'Students are reviewing their options and assessing whether legal action is the best route forward.

'There are a lot of grievances about the inhumane way the school has looked after its student population, ' he said, 'and about the way they have been treated without any compassion.

'However, the ARB is also far from being free from criticism as well because of its timing of the announcement it was removing prescription, ' the source added.

However, a university spokeswoman said the school is working to help students affected. 'The Faculty of Art and Design recognises that there are some problems for students who have failed their ARB assessments.

'We will be contacting these students shortly to arrange additional support and extra tuition so that they are not disadvantaged.

'We will work with the ARB in this endeavour, ' she added.

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