Oxford University could appeal a landmark ageism case after an employment tribunal ruled the dismissal of a physics professor 'unfair'.

Paul Ewart was discriminated against on the grounds of age when his contract was not renewed in September 2017, the hearing in Reading found.

He was forced to leave his post as Oxford's head of atomic and laser physics before his 70th birthday.

A spokesperson for the university said: "In light of this ruling the university will be considering its options, including the possibility of an appeal."

The legal victory for Prof Ewart will now put pressure on the institution to overturn its controversial policy that allows them to dismiss academics at the age of 67.

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In its judgement, shared with Times Higher Education magazine, the employment tribunal said: "If a heavily discriminatory measure results in the creation of only two to four per cent more vacancies than would otherwise arise, we do not see how that can be proportionate.

"The increase in the number of vacancies in support of the legitimate aim is trivial in comparison with the discriminatory effect."

Prof Ewart, who had worked at Oxford for 38 years, has requested he be reinstated as a senior lecturer.

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He is the second Oxford professor to challenge the institution's controversial retirement policy that, as claimed by the university, is aimed at promoting 'inter-generational fairness and improvements in diversity'.

In May last year Professor John Pitcher, who taught English at St John’s College, lost a similar claim against Oxford University after he was forced to retire at 67.

He sued the university for age discrimination and unfair dismissal, claiming loss of earnings of £100,000. Both claims were dismissed.

Prof Pitcher is appealing that decision.