AN OXFORD graduate who tried to sue the unviersity because he didn't get a first class degree has lost his case.

Faiz Siddiqui had complained that 'negligently inadequate teaching' nearly 20 years ago had affected his degree grade and had a 'marked deleterious effect' on his subsequent career.

Dismissing the case, Mr Justice Foskett warned students who think university courses were not value for money about the dangers of taking legal action in the hope of getting compensation.

He said that although the quality of education will undoubtedly come under greater scrutiny as students run up debt, litigation is costly and 'fraught with difficulty'.

Mr Siddiqui, of Bayswater, west London, decided that the 'delivery' of part of a history course in 1999-2000 was not 'negligently inadequate'.

Mr Siddiqui, who was 39 at the time of the trial and obtained a 2:1 after studying at Brasenose College, had worked for a number of law firms after leaving university.

He claimed he would have gone on to become an international commercial lawyer if he had obtained a First.

Mr Justice Foskett said: "In this case, I have not been satisfied that the delivery of one particular feature of the claimant's undergraduate degree course was inadequate or, in any event, that it had the consequences claimed for it."

He added: "There may be some rare cases where some claim for compensation for the inadequacy of the tuition provided may succeed, but it is hardly the ideal way of achieving redress.

"Litigation is costly, time and emotion-consuming and runs the significant risk of failure, particularly in this area where establishing a causative link between the quality of teaching and any alleged 'injury' is fraught with difficulty.

"There must be a better way of dealing with this kind of issue if it cannot be resolved by the individual concerned simply accepting what has happened and finding a positive way forward."