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Man can escape human justice but not divine justice (Padre Pio).

Bullying and Discrimination at the University of Leicester:

University of Leicester: Mediocre without admitting mediocrity

The bullying of academics follows a pattern of horrendous, Orwellian elimination rituals, often hidden from the public. Despite the anti-bullying policies (often token), bullying is rife across campuses, and the victims (targets) often pay a heavy price.

NAMED AND SHAMED

professor-paul-boyleabobburgess2Professor Mark Thompson

julian_kbambosflavezio

professor-dave-lambertSarahProf David Wynford-Thomas

From the top left to the right;

Prof Paul BoyleProf Robert BurgessProf Mark ThompsonProf Julian KetleyProf Charalambos P. Kyriacou (known as Bambos), Dr Flaviano GiorginiDr Ezio RosatoProf David LambertProf Sarah HainsworthProf David Wynford-Thomas.

Introduction:

The Higher Education Providers (HEP) have the duty to put in place an internal regulatory system that ensures maintaining the UK Quality Code for Higher Education to guarantee the safeguard and integrity of the student during the completion of the academic course. The internal University’s policies have to adhere in a strict manner to the codes of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). University’s policies and the QAA Quality Code, in turn, have to be in line with the public law.

This macabre and cruel story of severe abuse and perpetuated bullying occurred at the University of Leicester (UoL). Thus, I decided to post my story along with all the details and the evidence of this case. This case is of considerable public interest. In Higher Education, students should be treated with dignity and respect, but unfortunately, it was not the case at the UoL. What happened is extremely horrendous and atrocious. Unfortunately, the UoL is not new to this type of abuse and aggravations; a former law employee at UoL; Glynis M. Truter was also a victim of a severe bullying and harassment. A former medical student Darmeena Gopikrishna, complained over the UoL’s termination of her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree studies. More recently exactly in November 2017, a new case of racism and discrimination has involved again the UoL, accordingly a Chinese student was racially abused by another UK student, the UoL (not surprisingly) took the defence of the latter and decided to kick the victim out from the University, typical behave of the UoL always acting in favour of the perpetrators, it inevitably has generated and infuriated many Chinese students showing their anger particularly on Facebook under the review’s page of the UoL (more details are seen in this website at the page “other cases“).  It showed clearly the tendency of the UoL mistreating students and employees and continually breaching their policies.

The system in England (not in Scotland) does not allow students to take a legal action directly against the University. The student victim of a prevarication from the University is forced to follow a very intricate and inconvenient exhausting procedure. Firstly, the student has to raise an internal complaint, usually made by 3 stages that can take even a year to be completed. During this period, the University will make the best effort to mask all the evidence and bring the student to extreme levels of distress in the hope he/she will give up. After this extenuating process, the student if not satisfied with the outcome of the University, can refer the case to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) The OIA, is classified being an independent body but it is actually run and financially sponsored by Universities, therefore the outcome is predictable, at the 99.99% acts in favour of Universities. At this stage the student can potentially refer the case to the Administrative Court judicial review against the OIA but even in this case as seen above the Administrative Court will not interfere or overturn the decision taken by the OIA. This clearly stated has the procedures in this dirty system has been set ensuring that the student will never obtain justice, no matter how severe and strong is the case.   

During the internal procedures the UoL was repeatedly invited to put the things right, but unfortunately, my complaint was entirely ignored. I was also victimised during the progression of the internal complaint. The case was forwarded to the OIA. The OIA classified my complaint being “NOT FULLY JUSTIFIED” in both; the first and second outcome letter. The OIA failed to uphold my complaint despite the severe breaches of the UoL in regard to its own policies, the QAA‘s code of conduct, the Equality Act 2010, and the Harassment Act 1997. The case was referred to the Administrative Court for a judicial review against the OIA. The Administrative Court stated that my case was “TOTALLY WITHOUT MERIT”, and did not offer me the possibility to challenge this decision. Thus, the Administrative Court closed and archived my case without offering me the possibility of having a fair hearing court proceeding.

Background:

My name is Max Casu; I was a mature Ph.D. student at the UoL. I made a Ph.D. application in the department of neurogenetics at the above University in December 2007. I was invited for an interview in February 2008. I was classified second among 20 candidates; therefore, I was successful for the 2 vacant Ph.D.’s positions. I began my Ph.D. in September 2008. I was a home Student. My Ph.D. course was based on a 4 years academic course; it was structured in three years lab work and the fourth and last year in the writing of my Thesis. My Ph.D. course was entirely sponsored by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). The BBSRC covered the cost of the academic post-graduate course for the first 3 years. The Ph.D. was arranged with the first year being an APG (advanced post-graduate). In July 2009, I was validated into my Ph.D. after having completed the APG. Prior to my Ph.D., I successfully obtained a HNC in applied biology and a BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology in two different London’s Universities, obtaining the grades of merit and a 2:1 (closely first class) respectively. I always loved science and everything that was concerned about it, and I was always classified to be an excellent student and respectable person from my previous Universities. I was extremely excited about starting this new challenging experience at UoL. My Ph.D. was based on the study of Huntington’s disease using fruit flies as an animal model. I was allocated since the beginning of my Ph.D. with 1 supervisor; Dr Flaviano Giorgini. The Vice-Chancellor, at the time, was Prof Robert Burgess. From the 1 October 2014, the UoL appointed a new Vice-Chancellor Prof Paul Boyle, my case, unfortunately, was completely ignored by both. Despite having contacted on more occasions the Leicester Students’ Union I never received any support.

As mentioned earlier all my excitements about the above Ph.D. unfortunately, turned into a nightmare;

  • It was since the beginning of my academic course that I was continuously insulted, humiliated and treated at lower standards respect other students from senior academic members at the UoL.
  • During my Ph.D. I was able to generate 4 manuscripts and consequently 4 potential publications. Only 1 manuscript was published, with an extreme and unjustified severe delay (the manuscript was ready to be published in the 2010 but it was published only 3 years later). The UoL failed to substantiate what obstructed the publication of the 3 manuscripts.
  • I was accused by Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) that I was constantly missing my academic meetings. Actually, many pieces of evidence prove completely the opposite, it was Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) persistently postponing the meetings or inviting me to take part in meetings decided at the very last minute. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was actually postponing group meetings because other students were not able to attend, and they were always being justified by their absence.
  • I was obstructed and not supported, applying for post-doc positions or any further higher education academic courses. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) provided me in a deliberately way a “bland letter of reference“, he was instructed acting in this way by Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.). It caused me being rejected for an important Legal post-graduate academic course at London South Bank University (LSBU).
  • Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) failed to provide me with the adequate support during the writing of my Thesis and the preparation of my Viva Voce. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) admitted his failures. As a result, I struggled with large distress during the writing of my Thesis and the preparation of my Viva Voce, it caused me the inevitable loss of enjoyment and it inexorably undermined my health causing me a series of severe faintness that affected my Ph.D. and the temporary suspension of it.
  • The UoL removed Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and replaced him with 2 new supervisors, but this remedy was unfortunately applied at very late stages when my Thesis was already submitted and my Viva Voce was already performed.
  • During my Ph.D., the UoL provided faulty equipment. A homemade software called “BeFly!” lacking of registration licence and consequently in breach of the UoLs policies. The homemade software BeFly! was never be subjected for its accuracy and reliability. It caused me the removing of a large amount of data already analysed, generating me severe stress and frustration. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) suggested me to remove the data already analysed. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and Dr Ezio Rosato (Internal Examiner) later admitted that the software BeFly! was mistaken.
  • I was accused by Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) that; I blamed other students of disrupting my work and my experiments. On many occasions, I invited the UoL and particularly Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) to substantiate these accusations. The UoL, unfortunately, failed to do so. These accusations were forwarded to me only during the procedures of my internal complaint, a clear act of victimisation.
  • There is a lot of severe failures during the complaint procedures. The UoL did not respect the internal protocol of the complaint and the appealing procedures, being responsible for irregular procedures; it again generated me a lot of distress. The UoL denied the possibility of a prima facie case.
  • The UoL failed to provide my personal files (data subject request access) on the standard time in respect of the Data Protection Act 1998. I received my files after 4 months respect the approved time-scale.
  • The UoL prior to my Viva Voce decided to appoint a chair without to inform me and without to substantiate why this decision was taken.
  • After having successfully performed the Viva Voce, I was notified that I passed my Viva Voce but also I was notified that I failed my Thesis. The UoL failed to substantiate what potentially caused the failure of my Thesis. The UoL provided an academic report being very vague and elusive and did not inform me about the potential errors involved on my Thesis. The UoL sustained during my appealing procedure that; “it was not fundamental to know the exact errors involved in my Thesis”. Most of the specific errors listed in the academic report could not be found in my Thesis. The academic report deferred completely from the corrections provided by Dr Kevin Moffat (External ExaminerUniversity of Warwick) that actually showed a list of minor corrections that were amended in less than two weeks. The UoL failed to inform me about my rights of appeal. There is a large number of internal e-mails from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) and other senior members of the UoL, which showed how the UoL premeditated the failure of my Ph.D.
  • Despite having performed well during my academic course, and even done better respect many others Ph.D. students, despite having generated 4 potential publications and having successfully passed my exams, the UoL rejected my Ph.D. The UoL failed to justify why I failed my Thesis.
  • Accordingly, the UoL appointed a chair in order to prevent me appealing against their decision. The above shows a clear evidence of conspiracy, bias, and prejudice against me.
  • The UoL convening appointing 2 new supervisors but it was done after the completion of the writing of my Thesis, the submission of it and the preparation of my Viva Voce.
  • According to the UoL‘s policies, I should have had 2 supervisors since the beginning of my Ph.D.
  • There are a lot of severe failures during the academic appealing procedures.
  • The UoL was constantly breaching their own policies, the QAA code of conduct and the related Law. The UoL was repeatedly invited to investigate the above and put a remedy as it was actually expected.
  • The UoL neglected completely the severity of the events occurred, increasing my stress and frustration that ultimately affected my health severely with a series of severe faintness.
  • My complaint was forwarded to the OIA.
  • The OIA did not consider my complaint appropriately, and despite having provided tangible evidence of the episodes occurred my complaint was classified as being “NOT JUSTIFIED“. Consequently, the OIA failed taking action against the UoL. The OIA actually awkwardly attempted to justify and legitimate the awful and malicious behaviour of the UoL and its senior members.
  • The case was referred to the Administrative Court for a judicial review against the OIA. The Administrative Court closed my case without providing me with the possibility of having a fair hearing, stating that my case was “TOTALLY WITHOUT MERIT” and without to have the possibility to challenge this decision.
  • The complaint was forwarded to the BBSRC that failed to investigate it. The BBSRC shockingly stated that; the BBSRC cannot look into the relationship between the student and his/her supervisor and cannot also investigate if the university involved has observed or not the rules and regulations in which a student is expected to be treated.  

Key Dates

  • In September 2008, I began my Ph.D. at UoL in the department of genetics. I was proudly able to generate 4 manuscripts for potential publications.
  • In January 2012, I completed my lab work.
  • In February 2012, I began the writing of my Thesis.
  • In October 2012, I had to suspend my academic course due to health-related problems caused by the pain and distress generated from the UoL
  • On 17 December 2012, I submitted the first stage of the UoL‘s internal complaint, named; “Initial Complaint“.
  • On 13 February 2013, I received the response of the Initial Complaint from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.).
  • On 05 March 2013, I sent the “Stage 1 Complaint”.
  • On 07 May 2013, I received the outcome of Stage 1 Complaint from Prof David Wynford-Thomas. Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) interfered at this stage during the progress of my complaint and therefore he breached the UoL‘s regulations.
  • On 24 May 2013, I submitted my Thesis.
  • On 24 May 2013, the UoL decided without to inform me to appoint a chair for my Viva Voce. The chair was initially Prof Peter Andrew and he was later substituted by Prof David Lambert. The UoL failed to legitimate why the chair was appointed.
  • On 30 May 2013, I sent the “Stage 2 complaint”.
  • On 27 June 2013, I received the Stage 2 Complaint along with the “Completion of Procedures Letter” from Prof Mark Thompson (Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor), the UoL denied the prime facie case for further investigations despite a large number of severe failures.
  • On 13 August 2013, I made a Data Subject Request Access to the UoL. My files were received more than one year later completely in infringements of the Data Protection Act.
  • On 25 August 2013, a manuscript of my experimental data is finally published within 3 years of delay. 3 others publications are not published and the UoL failed to substantiate delays and failures.
  • On 10 September 2013, I had my Viva Voce; I was examined in the presence of Dr Ezio Rosato (Internal Examiner) Dr Kevin Moffat (External ExaminerUniversity of Warwick) and Prof David Lambert (Chair).
  • My Viva Voce lasted 4 hours and 51 minutes, against the average of 1 and half hour applied for other Ph.D. students at the same department.
  • On 19 September 2013, I was notified that I passed my Viva Voce but I had failed my Thesis. The UoL failed to inform me about the appealing procedures.
  • On 23 September 2013, I sent my complaint to the OIA (OIA/51142/13) including evidence of the case.
  • On 03 October 2013, I was notified via e-mail by Prof Sarah Hainsworth (Graduate Dean) that Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was removed and substituted with two new supervisors.
  • On 14 October 2013, I submitted my “First Stage Thesis Appealto the UoL.
  • On 30 November 2013, I received the First Stage Thesis Appeal’s reply from the UoL, Prof Julian Ketley, (Head of genetics dep.) again was in breach of the UoL‘s appealing procedures. In fact, Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) should not have been involved in the appealing procedures as he was involved at the Initial Stage Complaint. Each stage of the complaint procedures must be completely independent of the previous stage.
  • On 07 January 2014, I submitted the “Second Stage Thesis Appeal” to the UoL.
  • On 28 January 2014, I received the Second Stage Thesis Appeal’s outcome from the UoL along with the “Completion of Procedures Letter”.
  • On 24 March 2014, I sent new files to the OIA (OIA/51142/13) including new evidence obtained through the “Data Subject Request Access“.
  • On 03 February 2014, I sent my “Thesis Appeal” to the attention of the OIA (OIA/54127/14) evidence of the appealing were also included.
  • On 14 August 2014, I sent to the OIA the latest summary of both OIA/51142/13 and OIA/54127/14, respectively complaint and appeal.
  • On 27 August 2014, I received the first outcome’s letter from the OIA for both OIA/51142/13 and OIA/54127/14. Both my complaint and the appeal were classified to be “NOT JUSTIFIED“. The adjudicator officer from the OIA in charge in the first stage was Miss Sally Adams (Adjudicator Officer). The adjudicator officer from the OIA in charge in the second stage was Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Officer).
  • On 06 September 2014, I sent an appeal to the OIA against their decision in regard to both the OIA/51142/13; and OIA/54127/14 respectively complaint and appeal.
  • On 22 September 2014, the OIA sent me the final outcome’s letter. The final outcome’s letter was provided by Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Manager). The complaint/appeal was confirmed to be “NOT JUSTIFIED“.
  • On 30 September 2014, I received a letter of apology from the UoL in regard to an incident dated 27 August 2013, where I was severely insulted by Prof Charalambos P. Kyriacou (known as Bambos) being called “Dick and “Potty.
  • On 17 November 2014, I submitted a pre-court letter to the OIA.
  • On 01 December 2014, I received a letter from Miss Felicity Mitchell (Deputy Manager at OIA) in replying to my above-cited pre-court letter. Miss Felicity Mitchell (Deputy Manager at OIA) denied all the evidence failing to legitimate how the OIA reached their decision clearly in favour of the UoL.
  • On 22 December 2014, I referred my case to the Administrative Court for a judicial review against the OIA.
  • On 28 May 2015, the Administrative Court in the name of the judge Jeffrey Blackett archived my case stating that my claim was “TOTALLY WITHOUT MERIT“. The Administrative Court failed to substantiate why my case in front of the tangible evidence was classified as being “TOTALLY WITHOUT MERIT“. The Administrative Court failed to provide me with the possibility of a potential appealing against this decision.
  • On 20 November 2016, I have launched my petition.
  • On 25 January 2017, I forwarded my complaint to the attention of the BBSRC, that unfortunately failed to investigate the matter.

Facts:

  • Harassment:

Since the beginning of my Ph.D., I was repeatedly abused by senior members at the UoL, in particular, these abusive occurrences were perpetrated by Prof. Charalambos P. Kyriacou (known as Bambos) and Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.). I was constantly called with insulting and inappropriate appellative such as; “guest” from Prof. Charalambos P. Kyriacou (known as Bambos), these cruel episodes occurred very often in front of other members at the UoL in order to generate humiliation, mortification, and insults against me. It forced me to resign about my Ph.D. course; despite I was doing very well.

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I was also accused of being repeatedly locking the PCs at the department of genetics. Similar action was perpetrated by other students. The other students were not accused of any infringements of rules. Prof Charalambos P. Kyriacou (known as Bambos) disseminated hate and racism against me.

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Prof Charalambos P. Kyriacou (known as Bambos) always took a defensive position in favour of other students and on the other hand, he always acted against me

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Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) informed me that I had to observe rules in a stricter way respect of other students…… it seems accordingly that different type of rules was applied just for me in respect of other students…..a clear act of discrimination and bullying.

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The e-mail below shows all my pain and the frustration about the way I was treated.

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I was forced by Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) to provide an apology to Prof Charalambos P. Kyriacou (known as Bambos). Here comes the main humiliation, as I had to provide an apology when actually I was the victim of the perpetrator.

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Stickers showing severe immoral and using unpleasant insulting expressions against me were posted on my PC workstation by Prof Charalambos P. Kyriacou (known as Bambos).

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The image of these stickers was also posted on Facebook by Mr. Carlo Breda (Former Ph.D. student).

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I also was defined with the unpleasant name of “dick” and “potty” by Prof Charalambos P. Kyriacou (known as Bambos) during an e-mail communication with a former Ph.D. student.

 

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I also was defined with the name of “rubbish” by Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.). Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) is also inciting the other senior members of the UoL to attack me (see doc below). A Head of Genetics Department should not act in this indecent manner and he should have been trained to a more appropriate behaviour. 

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More recently exactly starting from 10 October 2018, I suffered again a series of insults and verbal abuse on this site on the HOME page, perpetrated again by; Prof Charalambos P. Kyriacou (known as Bambos), Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) and Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor), exactly with the same style and in line with the injurious expressions as listed above; how to say; the leopard cannot change its spots.

Internal Complaint:

A complaint was sent to the UoL in regard to the above nasty events.

The so-named “Initial Stage Complaint” was dated 13 February 2013; it was hypothetically investigated by  Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.). The complaint was unfortunately so poorly investigated, this was the outcome from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) he states that; “the above was just caused by a misunderstanding….

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Stage 1 Complaint” was dated 7 May 2013 and reviewed by Prof David Wynford-Thomas. It was again poorly investigated, without any indication related to any of the above horrible incidents. “Prof David Wynford-Thomas stated that; “he could not identify evidence to support my complaint, it despite a large amount of evidence provided”.

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Stage 2 Complaint” (Final stage) was issued by Prof Mark P Thompson (Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor). It was dated 27 June 2013; the investigation of the complaint was again extremely poor. It again did not refer to any of the above malicious incidents; he denied the “prime facie case” for further investigations.

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UOL’s policy:

The UoL has explicit and transparent policies in place. These policies are in line with the related law and the QAA code of conduct. Unfortunately, the UoL was reluctant to observe its own rules and regulations.

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Law:

Harassment and bullying are strictly condemned by the; Equality Act 2010 and Harassment Act 1997.

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Discrimination is explained in details in Section 2.

What is harassment?

Further or HEP must not engage in harassment – unwanted behaviour related to a protected characteristic, or which is of a sexual nature, that violates your dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for you.

What is victimisation?

A further or higher education institution must not treat you badly because you have done a ‘protected act’ (or because the institution believes that you have or are going to do a protected act). A ‘protected act’ is:
• making a claim or complaint of discrimination (under the Equality Act)
• helping someone else to make a claim by giving evidence or information
• making an allegation that the further or higher education institution or someone else has breached the Act
• doing anything else in connection with the Act.

QAA:

The QAA code of conduct does not admit discrimination and condemn any form of inequality where dignity and worth are affected forward students from any members of the UK HEP.

Chapter B1

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Chapter B3

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Chapter B4

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Chapter B8

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Therefore, the UoL was guilty of breaching; their own policies, the QAA code of conduct and the related law (as shown above).

OIA:

The OIA rejected my complaint without being able to legitimate its decision.

From the OIA first outcome letter dated 27 August 2014; Miss Sally Adams (Adjudicator Officer) classified my complaint; “NOT JUSTIFIED”.

Pica23.jpgSecond outcome letter was dated 22 September 2014; Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Manager), again, rejected and classified my complaint “NOT JUSTIFIED”.

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It is simply disgusting that the OIA justified the awful and protracted cruelty exercised from the UoL. The report from the OIA is extremely inconsistent. The OIA reserved the names of the senior members of the UoL anonymously, calling them with unspecified names such as; Prof A or Dr. B and so on, in order to cover their identity.

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The above was confirmed by Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Manager), on the second outcome letter dated 22 September 2014, again is noticeable the awkward attempt of the OIA to cover the misconducts of the UoL and its senior members. The OIA stated falsely that my evidence was not provided on time, incorrect assertions that the OIA failed to legitimate.

The student has the possibility to include further evidence during the progressing of the complaint, all the evidence were provided during the length of the UoL internal complaint. Therefore, the OIA statements are deceitful.

The OIA instructed the UoL to provide me with an apology in relation to the event in which I was defined with the insulting expressions of; “Potty and Dick” by Prof. Charalambos P. Kyriacou (known as Bambos).

Remarkably, the two letters, from the OIA (first and second outcome’s letters) are identical; this unmistakably showed as poorly the OIA investigate student’s complaints.

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  • Differential treatments:

During my Ph.D. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) reminded me that (as it happened to other students) on the termination of my sponsorship, I would benefit either a financial extension, or eventually I would benefit the possibility to be employed as a technician for a limited period in order to finalise my Ph.D. work.

  • This treatment was reserved for all the other home Ph.D. students at the same department.
  • I was informed verbally by Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) that I could not benefit any extension. I was informed about this decision only one month before my sponsorship was going to expire; it was exactly in November 2011.
  • The reason for this decision was that; “there was not sufficient funding available particularly in my case in order to have a financial extension”.
  • I was the only Ph.D. home student that had the financial extension rejected among all the other Ph.D. home students at the same department.

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Internal Complaint:

During the internal UoL‘s complaint procedures, this aspect of my complaint was completely ignored by Prof David Wynford-Thomas (Stage 1 Complaint) and Prof Mark P Thompson (Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor Stage 2 Complaint).

Only at the Initial Stage Complaint, Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) awkwardly attempted to justify the rejection of any potential financial funding in my favour, without being able to legitimate why it was actually benefited to all the other Ph.D. students.

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UOL’s policy:

The UoL‘s policy states that;
Students have the right to be treated at the same equal levels of other students and it will be not admissible that a student will be treated less favourably than another student”.

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QAA:

The QAA code of conduct chapter B1 and chapter B4 state the following;

  • Promoting equality involves treating everyone with equal dignity and worth, irrespective of the group or groups to which they belong, while also raising aspirations and supporting achievement for people with diverse requirements, entitlements and backgrounds.
  • An inclusive environment for learning anticipates the varied requirements of learners, for example, because of a declared disability, specific cultural background, location, or age, and aims to ensure that all students have equal access to educational opportunities.
  • HEP, staff and students all have a role in and responsibility for promoting equality. Equality of opportunity involves enabling access for people who have differing individual requirements as well as eliminating arbitrary and unnecessary barriers to learning. In addition, disabled students and non-disabled students are offered learning opportunities that are equally accessible to them, by means of inclusive design wherever possible and by means of reasonable individual adjustments wherever necessary. Offering an equal opportunity to learn is distinguished from offering an equal chance of success.
  • All HEP, have legal obligations which they must meet, for example in relation to equality of opportunity and eliminating unlawful discrimination (in the UK particular considerations, such as the anticipatory duty to provide reasonable adjustments, apply to disabled students). All HEP, have legal obligations which they must meet, for example in relation to equality of opportunity and eliminating unlawful discrimination.

OIA:

From the OIA correspondence dated 27 August 2014 Miss Sally Adams (Adjudicator Officer) and 22 September 2014 Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Officer) first outcome letter and second outcome letter respectively. Again, it visibly disclosed a very poor level of investigation.

The OIA stated that; the OIA could not find any evidence about this aspect of my complaint;

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Please note as the two complaint’s responses from the OIA are identical. The OIA had very poor levels of investigation.

Actually, a communication between Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and Prof Peter A. Meacock stated that I was entitled to an extension of financial funding.

The doc below dated 20 June 2010. The two highlighted paragraphs say the following;

The first paragraph from Dr. Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) said;

Max’s work thus has progressed very well. He has found that deletion of the fly homologue of huntingtin (the gene causing Huntington’s disease) causes arrhythmicity in aged flies.  He is currently testing whether known neuroprotective genes can rescue this phenotype. In addition, he has found the two candidate modifier genes rescue Huntington’s disease relevant phenotypes. This work has contributed to a publication currently being written in the lab, as well as a patent application in progress with BioBator.

Second paragraph again from Dr Flaviano Giorgini mentioned about entitlements of additional funds;

“In general, I am always very supportive of 4 years studentship, so we have flexibility in this regard with the DTG’s we should definitely send positive feedback. 4 years studentship allow vital experiments to be finalised at a point when a student is peaking in terms of experimental progress. In addition, it allows the student to write up without the distraction of needing to come up with additional funds for living. etc”.

Therefore, it clearly proves that Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) mentioned the above at the beginning of my Ph.D. The availability of these funds was provided to all the others Ph.D. students, except me. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) reiterated these affirmations during my complaint. 

The OIA noticeably acted in favour of the UoL denying the supportive evidence provided.

 

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  • Publications:

On 13 June 2012, from an e-mail received by Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) I was informed that my Ph.D. lab work generated the potential of 4 different publications, named; Gpx, Pdhb, Snx and ultimately dHtt deletion.

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Only one manuscript was published with a suspicious delay of 3 years. The other 3 manuscripts were not published. The UoL failed to justify the failure of these publications.

Internal Complaint:

Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) was in charge to investigate the “Initial Stage Complaint“, Unfortunately,  Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) failed to investigate my complaint appropriately, in fact, he failed to substantiate why the other 3 manuscripts were not published, and why the only manuscript published had a delay of 3 years.

Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.)  also accused me to have forwarded false allegations against Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor).

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Stage 1 Complaint” from Prof David Wynford-Thomas showed a very humble investigation, failed to investigate what happened in regard to the 3 above manuscripts and the delay of the one manuscript published.

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Stage 2 Complaint” from  Prof Mark P Thompson (Senior Pro-Vice-ChancellorStage 2 Complaint) was not investigated at all.

UoL’s policy:

The UoL has policies in place concerning publications that state as follow;

If a Researcher is put under pressure, by sponsors and founders of research or other parties, to discourage or suppress appropriate publication or dissemination, or to influence the presentation or interpretation of findings, they should report this to the Chair of the Research Policy Committee or Enterprise and Business Development (for research involving industry) in the first instance.

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Therefore, only one manuscript was published with an astonished 3 years delay. The other 3 manuscripts were not published. All the other Ph.D. students in the department had the publications of their manuscripts without any delay. The UoL failed to substantiate the failures involved in these publications.

QAA:

The QAA in the chapters code of conduct B1, B10 and B11 clearly state the following;

  • Successful achievement of an individual student’s academic, personal and professional objectives builds confidence and develops potential. HEP’ strategic and operational approaches to enabling student development and achievement may be expressed in documents such as corporate plans and strategies for learning, teaching and assessment; learning resources; information technology; employability; widening access and/or participation; and research and enterprise.
  • Dissemination of approaches, which are endorsed and promoted by senior management, to all staff, students, and relevant external organisations, supports a shared understanding of the commitment made to enabling student development and achievement. In line with principles of equity, and to identify organizational barriers to student development and achievement, HEP gather feedback from the range of their students. Students are encouraged to give their views at different points during the time they are studying in a variety of ways.
  • Prospective, current and former students are included among those who are asked for feedback in order to understand the full scope of arrangements that may be needed. HEP make available an appropriate and proportionate level of resource for this engagement. HEP regularly review their provision which enables student development and achievement in ways which are not overly burdensome, and which promote continuous improvement. HEP recognise the value of the engagement of their students and ensure that students feel rewarded for their involvement.
  • Working in partnership with their student body, HEP develop ways to recognise the efforts of their students and the skills they develop through taking on student engagement roles. This may include skills accreditation, awards schemes and ceremonies, and recording activity in transcripts or higher education achievement records. Approaches such as personal development planning help students to identify their personal, academic and employability development needs, to reflect on their experiences, and to record their achievements. HEP have strategies to promote students’ employability and their ability to articulate their knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values. Where appropriate, giving encouragement and guidance to the research student on the submission of conference papers and articles to refereed journals.
  • Helping the research student to interact with others working in the field of research, for example encouraging the research student to attend relevant conferences and supporting him/her in seeking funding for such events where appropriate, giving encouragement and guidance to the research student on the submission of conference papers and articles to refereed journals maintaining the necessary supervisory expertise, including the appropriate skills, to perform all of the role satisfactorily, supported by relevant continuing professional development opportunities.

Therefore, the UoL constantly and repeatedly breached the above.

OIA:

From the OIA correspondence dated 27 August 2014 Miss Sally Adams (Adjudicator Officer) and 22 September 2014 Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Officer) first outcome letter and second outcome letter respectively, the OIA stated as follows;

  1. The University had made promises in relation to the expected time-frame for publication which it later broke;
  2. We could see no evidence that the University had promised that other aspects of Mr. Casu’s work would be published.

From the OIA correspondence dated 27 August 2014 Miss Sally Adams (Adjudicator Officer) first outcome letter;

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From the OIA correspondence dated 22 September 2014 Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Manager) second outcome letter;

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Accordingly, the OIA neglected completely the evidence. The evidence was clearly provided and showed being tangible as it seen through the e-mail from Dr. Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) dated 13 June 2012.

As seen previously the two complaints responses from the OIA are two exact duplicates. A clear failure investigating the student’s complaints in a transparent and impartial manner.

  • Meetings:

Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) continually accused me of missing the internal academic meetings. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) issued a report forwarding false accusations against me during the progression of my UoL’s internal complaint.

Stating the following;

“Mr. Casu had a certain “air of over-importance to his work —indeed on several occasions he notified me that he was not planning on attending required lab meetings, as well as one-on-one meetings with myself — and I needed to explain to him the importance of these meetings. Overall, I spent a great deal of energy giving him positive support, encouragement, and structure so that he could complete his studies”.

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The above report was never directly provided to my attention, but more exactly it was obtained through the “data subject request access.

The above affirmations were entirely false; there was no evidence that showed I ever missed one academic lab meeting. The UoL was invited during my internal complaint to substantiate Dr Flaviano Giorgini’s declarations. The UoL failed to do so.

Only on one occasion, I asked for the possibility to miss an internal meeting. On 19 November 2009, I asked Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) if it was possible to miss a meeting as I was going to finalise an important experiment. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) rejected it categorically.

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There is no other evidence, in which was shown that I potentially missed a meeting or asked to postpone any of them.

There is instead a large number of evidence in which, Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was constantly canceling the group’s meetings in favour or in relation to the absence of other students;

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Or alternatively, Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was canceling the meetings for his own reasons;

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Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor), was also recurrently requesting unarranged meetings with me at very short notice, with no consideration of the impact that these requests were having on my work:

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Internal Complaint:

“The above was done in a deliberate attempt and with the intention to obstruct and impede my work progression”.

Unfortunately, the above was completely neglected from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.),   Prof David Wynford-Thomas (Stage 1 Complaint) and Prof Mark P Thompson (Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor Stage 2 Complaint) during all the stages of my internal UoL’s complaint procedures.

UoL’s policy:

The UoL‘s policy state the following;

“Supervisory meetings are an opportunity for you to talk about your research, discuss your progress, and seek guidance as needed. These supervisory meetings will serve as a forum in which your supervisor will provide feedback – based either on their own monitoring of your progress or in response to the work you have submitted. Your supervisor has a responsibility to be accessible at mutually convenient times to provide advice and at the start of your degree, you should discuss with your supervisor how this will work in practice. As well as being an opportunity to receive feedback, supervisory meetings play a big role in shaping how effective your relationship with your supervisor is”.

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QAA:

The B11 chapter (Indicator 4 and Supervision indicator 9) of the QAA quality code stated the following;

  • providing satisfactory and accurate guidance and advice monitoring the progress of the research student’s research programs.
  • establishing and maintaining regular contact with the research student (guided by the higher education provider’s stated regulations and guidance).
  • being accessible to the research student to give advice (by whatever means is most suitable, given the research student’s location and mode of study.

OIA:

The OIA had the duty to investigate and consider this important aspect of my complaint in agreement with their own rules and regulations. The OIA, unfortunately, failed to investigate it. The UoL and the OIA had the prejudicial tendency failing to investigate this matter appropriately and not considering the severe breaches of the UoL in regard to its own policies and the QAA code of conduct. 

However, the UoL in the name of Prof Sarah Hainsworth (Graduate Dean), decided to remove Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) recognising him being inadequate as a supervisor.

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Unfortunately, this remedy was applied at a very late stage after my Thesis was submitted and my Viva Voce was performed. I ended writing up my Thesis, preparing, and performing my Viva Voce without an appropriate supervision support.

The OIA failed to consider that Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was removed and consequently was confirmed to be inadequate as a supervisor.

  • Reference:

On 20 August 2012, I contacted Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) in order to obtain a written reference as I was planning to apply for potential jobs (primarily post-doc positions).

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 Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) refused to provide me with a written reference, firmly stating that the most appropriate method was to send a letter directly to the institution involved.

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I insisted that I had to receive a written supportive reference, as it always happened from previous academic institutions.

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Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) categorically refused the written reference letter, stating that providing a written reference letter was not the normal and conventional practice.

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A letter of disappointment about his disregard conduct was sent to Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor).

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Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) remained inflexible in his position, stating that; providing a written reference letter was not the normal and conventional practice. He also stated that I was feeling to be treated unfairly.

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What actually Dr. Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) stated was, in fact, to be inappropriate and untrue. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) actually provided an abundant number of supporting written letters of reference for many other Ph.D. students. The few enclosed below are just some of the very dozen he provided to other students.

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Around June 2012, I decided to enroll for a post-graduate legal academic course at LSBU, the application form was clearly requiring for detailed reference in writing.

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On an e-mail dated 03 September 2012 (sent from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) to Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) ), shows as Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) instructed Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) do not provide me with any reference letter, and in the case to provide me with a “bland reference letter

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The above showed that the horrible behaviour from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) attempting to obstruct me on my academic progression. This type of repulsive conduct from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) started much in advance from the date of my official complaint (17 December 2012), clearly showing an inclination of prejudice against me, it occurs at the very beginning of my Ph.D.

On 18 June 2013, I sent my academic application to the LSBU.

On 18 June 2013, I sent an e-mail to Mrs Masterman (Complaint Officer – stage 2 Complaint), informing her that Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was away and I was in need to have a written letter of reference.

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On 19 June 2013, I sent a new e-mail to the attention of Mrs Masterman (Complaint Officer – stage 2 Complaint). I asked her to include the above matter into my Stage 2 Complaint. I also specified that due to the unethical of Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.), it was very appropriate not having Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) being further involved in this matter.

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No replied was obtained from Mrs Masterman (Complaint Officer – stage 2 Complaint), showing the disregard of the UoL‘s complaint officers.

On 19 June 2013, I received an e-mail from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) he said that he contacted Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and obtained a reference letter. He also informed me that; the letter was going to be sent to me via recorded delivery, and the letter was in another sealed envelope to be successively forwarded to the LSBU.

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On 20 June 2013, I received the letter from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.), the letter was into one single envelope sent to my address, and not as Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) stated previously being in a double envelope. The reference letter “was not issued” in accordance with what was actually required from the LSBU. The reference letter “was not supportive” exactly the opposite as it was seen for other reference letters issued in favour of other Ph.D.’s student (see above). The letter was mainly describing the structure of my Ph.D., and it was not referring to my performance as a Ph.D. student. It was clearly done in a deliberate way and in line with the instructions provided from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) to Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) to provide me with a “bland letter of reference“.

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On 23 June 2013, I sent a reply to Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.), the file was sent via e-mail. In my letter, I showed all my disappointment how the letter of reference was poorly written without being supportive. In my letter, I also asked Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) to reissue a new letter of reference providing it possibly in two formats; one for the LSBU and the other for potential other future job’s applications. I warned Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) not to forward that unsupportive letter of reference to the LSBU.

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On 28 June 2013, I received an “unconditional offer” from the LSBU about the above legal post-graduate course.

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On 29 June 2013 Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.), decided to send the poorly unsupportive bland reference letter to the attention of the LSBU, it was done completely against my wish and deliberately to obstruct my careers progression plans. 

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It a serious academic misconduct interfering negatively into the private life of a student with the clear intention to cause disruptions and obstructions in his career progression. It was not definitely what expected from the Head of Genetics Department“.

On 02 July 2013, I received an e-mail for Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) accusing me that I tempered the envelope provided by him, that I should not access this information. Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) also stated that; “my behaviour was unacceptable”. Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) was also informing me that Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) “did not have any intention to issue a freshly written letter of reference.

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On 02 July 2013, I sent an e-mail to Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) asking him the following question: “If it was your intention to keep the letter confidential as you have stated why you did not send it directly to the LSBU at the first instance?”

It was a clear repulsive and vicious action from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) having sent the letter at my address in order to let me believe that it was in a double envelope, with the clear intention to forward potential accusations against me to have tempered it. Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) should be informed that I do not have to temper any correspondence in order to access my own personal data. Attempting to hide the personal data it is a breach of fundamental rights of each citizen “Data Protection Act“. Therefore, the action of Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) was entirely in the breach of the law, for two main reasons;

  • Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) attempted to forward accusations against me playing tricky with the falsehood of the double envelope (a clear form of bias and prejudice).
  • Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) attempted to hide my personal data.

On 02 July 2013, I sent an e-mail to Mr. Dave Hall (Complaint Officer) invited him to send me the reply to my “Stage 2 Complaint” as it was due on 27 June 2013. I also mentioned about the awful behaviour implemented and perpetuated by Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) and the “perpetuated negligence” from Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) failing to provide me with an adequate support and how consequently I was severely damaged. I also stressed the fact that the UoL was constantly failing to investigate these matters and putting things right as it was expected.

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On 08 July 2013, I received an e-mail from the LSBU informing me that; “my initial unconditional offer was withdrawn due to the unsatisfactory letter of reference received”.

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Internal Complaint:

Unfortunately, this aspect of my complaint was completely neglected from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.), Prof David Wynford-Thomas (Stage 1 Complaint) and Prof Mark P Thompson (Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor Stage 2 Complaint) during all the stages of my internal UoL’s complaint procedures.

UoL’s policy:

The UoL‘s policies stated the following;

Your supervisor is available both to provide guidance on careers within your discipline and, more importantly, to direct you to specialised advice and resources available through the Graduate School and the Careers Service”.

Enabling Your Skills and Career Development;

Developing yourself and your skills is a big part of a research degree programme. Your supervisors will help you to do this by:

  • working with you to develop an appropriate training plan.
  • providing coaching or training in research skills relevant to your work.
  • helping you understand the importance of a broad based training programme including.
  • transferable skills that enhance your employability.

On completion of your postgraduate degree you may wish to forge your career in a number of ways:

  • begin an academic career;
  • return to a pre-existing academic career;
  • begin a career in research;
  • work in the public sector, private sector or third sector.

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QAA:

QAA quality code of conduct, chapter B4 and B11:

  • Access to and support for a range of development opportunities that contribute to the research student’s ability to develop personal and, where pertinent, employment-related skills availability of relevant advice on career development.
  • The ways in which HEP enable student development and achievement may involve input from a range of different people and other organisations.
  • HEP are clear about where responsibilities lie and how different roles are defined. These arrangements are communicated both to students, so that they are aware of the opportunities available and how to access them, and to staff, so that they are clear about their role and are able to direct students to other services appropriately. In particular, clarity about the respective responsibilities of academic and professional services, staff, and any student representative bodies, helps students seeking to develop their potential.

OIA:

The OIA stated the following;

a. In June 2013, Mr. Casu asked Dr A for a reference to support his application for admission to a postgraduate degree at another university. He asked that the reference be sent directly to him. His request was made after he had submitted his Stage 2 complaint in which he made a number of accusations about Dr A’s professional integrity. Dr A (who was in the USA at the time) sought advice from the Head of Department; they agreed that Dr A would prepare a factual reference which the Head of Department would send to Mr. Casu in a sealed envelope marked confidential, so that Mr. Casu could submit the reference to the university with his application form. However, Mr. Casu opened the reference and wrote back to the Head of Department complaining about its contents and outlining what he thought the reference should have said. The Head of Department subsequently sent a copy of the reference directly to the Admissions Tutor. Mr Casu complains that (a) the reference was unfair;
b. Dr A and the Head of Department had conspired against him;
c. it was unreasonable for the Head of Department to have sent the reference directly to the Admissions Tutor; and
d. the reference had caused the university to withdraw its offer of admission.

First outcome letter dated 27 August 2014, the letter was issued from Miss Sally Adams (Adjudicator Officer);

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Second outcome letter dated 22 September 2014, the letter was issued by Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Manager);

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As seen previously, the two responses from the OIA are identical, I markedly want to stress as the OIA is responsible for poorly investigate serious student’s complaint.

The OIA had the duty to investigate it according to their regulations.

Therefore;

  • The above was done in a deliberately cruel and malicious attitude from the above-cited senior members at the UoL.
  • I was already taken for a post-graduate course at LSBU and after the UoL issued the maliciously bland letter of reference; my position for the above course was withdrawn due in actual fact to the inappropriate letter of reference.
  • The UoL and its senior members should not deliberately obstruct the career progression of a student, but actually, support any initiative addressed in that direction.
  • The OIA deliberately failed to investigate it and so unmistakably acted in favour of the UoL.
  • The OIA stated that; could not find any infringements of the related codes and regulations.
  • Thesis Correction:

The writing of my Thesis started in February 2012.

My Ph.D. academic course was suspended from October 2012 to April 2013; it due to health-related problems caused by the horrific treatment that was reserved to me by the UoL.

My Thesis was submitted in May 2013.

Since the beginning of my Thesis, Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was constantly changing the abbreviations and the format of the graphs used in my dissertation. Therefore, on many occasions, I invited Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) to provide me with a template for the format of the graphs and all specific abbreviations to be used during my dissertation.

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On 03 June 2012, Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) informed me that he was going to provide me with a template, but it was never provided.

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  • Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was constantly changing the abbreviations and also changing the structure of my graphs, such as; the colour of the bars, title of the x and y-axis and so on.
  • Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) failed to provide me with a template, as it was required.

On 04 and 05 June 2012, two e-mails were sent to the attention of Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) asking again to provide me with the template of graphs and abbreviations, but once more Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) failed to do so. He also was constantly forgetting the nomenclature I used on my Thesis.

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The above undoubtedly demonstrated the inadequacy of Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) as a supervisor. Unfortunately, the UoL completely ignored it, and at the only very late stage, the UoL decided to remove Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) as a supervisor. 

On 09 July 2012, Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) decided without to consult me, to delegate Carlo Breda (Former Ph.D. student) to correct my Thesis;

  • Mr. Carlo Breda (Former Ph.D. student) completed his Ph.D. just in 2011.
  • Mr. Carlo Breda did not have any experience correcting Ph.D. dissertation.
  • Mr. Carlo Breda at that time did not have a good level of spoken and written English.

As a result; 

  • There were deletions of entire paragraphs on my Thesis chapter without explanatory comments of this action.
  • The font style and size used as default in respect of the UoL requirements were altered.

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It was asked to Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) to provide me clarification, but unfortunately, he failed to justify why he took the decision to instruct Mr. Carlo Breda (Former Ph.D. student) to correct my Thesis.

Having the corrections amended by two people at the same time, it inevitably caused confusion and definitely did not produce sort of benefit for the student. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was aware of it, as he mentioned it in his e-mail dated 09 July 2012 (see above).

On 10 July 2012, I sent an e-mail to Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) showing my disappointment about his lacking and poor corrections, my chapter 4 was done quite well, but it seems actually that many expressions were corrected just using another way to express the same concept, without any apparent improvement of it.

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On 10 July 2012, I asked again to Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) to receive a template with all the abbreviations; graphs, font type etc. I also found his corrections again being extremely inconsistent for which I asked to receive explanations in regard.

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On a reply provided from Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) dated 10 July 2012. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) recognised his failure and mistakes, such as; having implemented Mr. Carlo Breda correcting my dissertation. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) also informed me that I could use the abbreviations at my own pleasure.

Why was it not established at the beginning of my writing dissertation?

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On 10 July 2012, this matter was referred to the attention of  Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.). Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) sent me an e-mail providing the UoL guide “how to write your thesis”. Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) offered me a meeting to discuss this matter. I asked if I could bring a person with me during the meeting. Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) did not mention the possibility to bring a person during the potential meeting. Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) did not realise that the problem was not;how to write a dissertation” for which I was clearly aware of it, but actually having an appropriate and adequate supervision.

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On 10 July 2012, Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) sent me an e-mail where he admitted that some of the corrections were not proper corrections but just a different way to express the same concept;

“I do appreciate that you have worked hard on your thesis and throughout your Ph.D. I have said this to you many times. I agree that Chapter 4 is improved upon Chapter 3 also, I agree that many of the edits were different ways to say the same concept. I agree, there was a typo of “elavGaL4” at the beginning of Chapter 2 obviously throughout the editing, minor mistakes will also happen”.

Why was all the above not established at the beginning of my Ph.D.?

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I showed all my disappointment about the mess caused by changing the nomenclature of my Thesis repeatedly, negatively affecting the progression of my Thesis.

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On 11 July 2012, I replied Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) stressing that I was already in possession of the above guideline, but actually, the problem was about the specific abbreviations and graphs/tables being constantly modified by Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor). Accordingly, there are no specific guides from the UoL in the use of abbreviations and designing tables and graphs. There was no point from Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) being constantly asking me to modify the abbreviations and graphs/tables unless it was done deliberately with the clear intention obstructing the progression of my Thesis. Politely and diplomatically, I also mentioned the professionalism of Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.), without being aware of how maliciously he acted against me.

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I rejected the possibility of having a meeting, as I had so much work left behind me; I had to re-correct and amend again the new abbreviations. I was also not in the position to travel from London to Leicester. Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) failed to reply me and consequently, he did not agree on the possibility of bringing a friend during the meeting.

On 12 July 2012, an e-mail received from Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) is informing him that my Thesis will be edited only by him and nobody else.

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On 12 July 2012, I sent an e-mail to Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) informing him what should be expected from a supervisor and that he should comply with the code of practice.

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E-mail sent on 06 June 2013 showed that Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) was repeatedly instructing Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) “do not reply my e-mails during the writing of my Thesis“.

On the same file, an e-mail sent on 06 June 2013 from Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) to Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) he is alerting the others that; “I was capable of submitting my Thesis on time, a clear act of conspiracy and prejudice against me.

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Were the intention of Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) deliberately obstruct the progression of my Thesis in order to cause the failure of my Ph.D.? Yes indeed, because other evidence of their own communication will appear later on this web page.

On 13 May 2013, I sent an e-mail to Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and other members of UoL involved in my complaint, as Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) corrections were not constructive criticism;

Most of the comments were poor and elusive;

  • Awkwardly written
  • Awkward sentence
  • This is awkward
  • This is confusing
  • You should clarify
  • Clarify
  • You need to clarify this

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The graduate office as showed below disregarded about the matter.

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The complaint to inform Mr. Brett Godson (Graduate school) was already in progress but not investigated appropriately, no action was taken in order to stop the above repeatedly occurring. It clearly showed the ineffectiveness of the UoL dealing with student’s complaint.

All the above generated me a large amount of stress and frustration that culminated in a series of severe faintness for which my Ph.D. was suspended. It will be found later in more details in this web.

Internal Complaint:

The above UoL‘s failures were reported during the internal complaint procedures.

Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) in his Initial Stage Complaint replied me in this way;

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Accordingly, Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) stated that he could not detect anything wrong. It clearly showed the disregard of the UoL. Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) was constantly acting against me perpetuating his abuse, and the private e-mails sent between senior members clearly confirmed it.

There was no comment from Prof David Wynford-Thomas (Stage 1 Complaint) similarly there was no comment from Prof Mark P Thompson (Senior Pro-Vice-ChancellorStage 2 Complaint).

UoL’s policy:

The UoL‘s policies state as follow;

“Maintaining a Good Working Relationship with Your Supervisors”

Use Your Supervisors Advice and Feedback;

  • Your supervisors’ comments are intended to be constructive – to provide you with guidance to help you improve your work and finish your research degree successfully.
  • If there are any aspects of your supervisors’ advice and feedback which are unclear you should ask for clarification as early as possible; it can also be helpful to keep a written record – almost like a diary – of the feedback provided by your supervisors so that you can refer to this later.

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Despite having clear policies in place, the UoL ignored the above without to apply for remedies and let senior members abusing.

QAA:

QAA quality code of conduct, Chapter B11  Research degree at the voice Supervision” states the following:

The research student-supervisor relationship is of paramount importance in all research degrees. HEP therefore establish systematic and clear supervision arrangements. These include providing research students with:

  • opportunities for access to regular and “appropriate supervisory support
  • encouragement to interact with other researchers
  • advice from one or more independent sources, internal or external arrangements that protect the research student in the event of the loss of a supervisor.
  • If and when a main supervisor is not able to continue supervising the research student, another appropriate supervisor is appointed to assume the role.
  • HEP take a view on how long a main supervisor may be absent before a permanent replacement is appointed, bearing in mind the importance of providing breadth and continuity of supervision for the research student in determining this period. In some circumstances, another supervisor is asked to assume the role of main supervisor while a replacement main supervisor is found.

The QAA states that student cannot be left without an appropriate supervision. Therefore, the UoL completely failed to conform to the above regulations.

OIA:

This how the OIA poorly investigated this section of my complaint;

First outcome letter dated 27 August 2014 investigated by Miss Sally Adams (Adjudicator Officer);

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Second outcome letter dated 22 September 2014 the investigator was Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Manager);

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It is interesting to observe, as the two letters from the OIA are the perfect matching copy of one of the other, it seems to do it through “copy and paste”. It shows how poorly the OIA investigates student’s complaint.

It is not clear as the OIA rejected my complaint in front of the tangible evidence provided and the conspiracy and prejudice perpetuated by Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.).

The above caused me very high levels of stress that culminated in a series of faintness, insomnia, and depression for which my Ph.D. was suspended for 5 months. It will be discussed in more details in this current web page.

  • Appointing two new supervisors:

The above severe described failures, put in doubt the capability of Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and his attitude as a supervisor and consequently forced the UoL to replace Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) with two new supervisors.

As it was mentioned earlier, on 03 October 2013 through an e-mail sent to my attention from Prof Sarah Hainsworth (Graduate Dean), I was informed that Dr Fred Tata and Dr Jonathan McDearmid were appointed as new supervisors replacing Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor).

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The above remedy was applied from the UoL at a very late stage, considering that my Thesis was submitted on 25 May 2013 and my Viva Voce was performed on 10 September 2013. Inevitably, because of this delay from the UoL taking the appropriate remedy, I was left without a supervisor and consequently damaged as the outcome of my Thesis was affected too.

UoL’s policy:

According to the UoL‘s policies, I should have had two supervisors since the beginning of my Ph.D. Therefore, I was penalised since the start of my Ph.D. It is interesting to notice that; “I was the only student to have allocated only 1 supervisor while all the other Ph.D. students had 2 supervisors since the beginning of their academic course”.

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The OIA ignored the above completely and consequently failed to consider this important aspect of my complaint.

  • Faulty Equipment (BeFly! Software):

Since the beginning of my Ph.D., the department of genetics at UoL provide me with a plug-in software named BeFly! to analyse my experimental data. BeFly! is a homemade software, elaborated by Mr. Edward Green (Former Ph.D. student).

  • BeFly! is not a commercialise software and does not have copyrights.
  • BeFly! is a plug-in that uses an existing platform such as Microsoft Excel in order to work.
  • BeFly! is not a software that had an appropriate check for accuracy and consistency.
  • During my Thesis, I used the latest version of BeFly! (version 8.00alpha).
  • BeFly! showed, to have severe and consistent failures.

Problems with this software were reported since the beginning of my Ph.D. but unfortunately, it was ignored.

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On 18 October 2012, Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) confirmed that something was wrong with the analysis of my data. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) invited me to resolve this issue with Edward Green (Former Ph.D. student). Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) also attempted to refer the faults of BeFly! to my raw data.

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On 23 October 2012, Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor), attempted justifying the accuracy of the above software; stating that BeFly! was extensively used in the department of genetics and consequently it was enough to demonstrate that the software was reliable and accredited.

Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) suggested me that was better not to use the above data in my Thesis: “then you should not enter this material into your Thesis”.

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On 19 November 2012, I provided evidence to Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor), showing that my raw data was accurate, simply because my raw data was used without the implementation of the BeFly! to perform another metric experiment called “locomotion activity” where the analysis of the raw data was applied directly and manually, in this case, the same identical data was not showing abnormalities and therefore indicating that the raw data was truthful. I also provided a clear description of all the steps involved in the analysis showing as the plug-in BeFly! had high levels of deficient accuracy.

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On 19 November 2012, Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) through an e-mail admitted that there was something wrong in the analysis.

Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) stated the following;

It is interesting that the locomotor activity and sleep are not consistent with each other, which does suggest that something is wrong with the analyses. However, he (Prof Charalambos P. Kyriacou (known as Bambos) did say that perhaps you used a version of the software that wasn’t the most recent. He (Prof Charalambos P. Kyriacou (known as Bambos) suggested that you send him your raw data for this experiment when you can, as well as your analysis, so that we can check what is going on

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On 26 November 2012, I informed Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) that I was using the latest version of the software and I sent my raw data and the sleep pattern analysis to the attention of Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) as it was required.

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On 26 November 2012, I received the last e-mail from Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) about this matter he stated as follow “Thanks for this. I will discuss with Bambos”.

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Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) did not provide me with any additional comments about this matter. I was expecting to receive a feedback but I never received any further communication. He disregarded the matter completely.

Therefore;

After having cited it to the UoL in my complaint, the UoL failed to imply the proper investigation and take the appropriate action/remedies.

As a result, I had to remove a large amount of data that was already analysed and plotted into graphs.
For a total of:
56 Graphs + 7,056 words + 61 Tables + the time spent researching doing my experiment and analysing the data.

  • It indeed generated me a large amount of distress and frustration culminated in severe health problems (faintness, see below at the voice syncope episodes).
  • The UoL did not respect and apply its policies.
  • The OIA failed to investigate this aspect of my complaint in breach of the own rules, the UoL ‘s policies and the QAA guidance of code of conduct.

On 10 September 2013, Dr Ezio Rosato (Internal Examiner and a member of the genetic department, expertise in the circadian clock) during my Viva Voce stated on several occasions that he never trusted BeFly! as a circadian clock software.

Internal Complaint:

This matter was included in my internal UoL complaint.

On 13 February 2013, in the “Initial Stage Complaint” Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) suggested me to remove the sleep data as a remedy of this inconvenient and also suggested me to analyse the data manually;

Nevertheless, Dr Giorgini has advised you to either remove this analysis as it is not likely to be essential for the overall Thesis or to re-analyse the data using the tool that has been both provided to you and explained by Dr Green. In addition, you could analyse the data manually using Excel. As it is your data in your dissertation it is up to you how you decide to act upon your supervisor’s advice

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Therefore, the suggestions provided from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) and Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) were to analyse my data manually when I was almost at the end of the writing of my Thesis and had only 2 months left to submit it.

Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) and Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) were actually aware that;

  • Most of my data were sleep pattern experimental data for which it could not be analysed manually.
  • There was not a sufficient amount of time to re-analyse the sleep data.
  • There was no other software available apart BeFLY! in order to analyse the sleep data.

As a result, I had to remove a large amount of data already analysed, wasted years of time involved through the performing of the hard experiments; all that inevitably increased the level of distress and frustration that as mentioned above culminated in my faintness.

My complaint reached the “Stage 1 Complaint, it was investigated from Prof David Wynford-Thomas that stated the following;

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Whilst on the “Stage 2 Complaint, Prof Mark P Thompson (Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor), failed to investigate this important aspect of my complaint.

UoL’s policy:

On 01 November 2012, I was provided with the relative UoL‘s policy documentation in regard to the use of software; “The Software License Regulations stated that software must be licensed in order to be used and approved by the IT department”.

The UoL ‘s policies in regard state the following;

Once evaluated no software will be installed for use without it having first been recorded on the University software asset register and without clear ―proof of license. Installation will then be authorised and the software deployed using the most efficient method. Following installation, the designated installer will ensure that the Software Asset Register is updated to reflect the usage of the software“.

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QAA:

The QAA code of conduct chapter B11 clearly stated that;

The student is entitled to use adequate learning and research tools, including access to IT equipment, library, and electronic publications“.

OIA:

Following the OIA‘s rules and regulations, the OIA had the duty to investigate a case where;

Inadequate supervision/tuition/equipment

The OIA state the following;

First outcome letter dated 27 August 2014, the letter was issued from Miss Sally Adams (Adjudicator Officer);

 

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Second outcome letter dated 22 September 2014, the letter was issued by Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Manager);

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Oops!! Not surprisingly, the two letters issued are again identical, this proves how seriously the OIA investigate student complaint.

  • Data access subject request:

On 04 July 2013, I forwarded a request for “data access subject request” under the Section 7(1) of Data Protection Act 1998 to the Data Protection & Freedom of Information Officer at UoL.

The files were provided by Mr. Henry Stuart. Mr. Henry Stuart sent me files about the internal communications between senior members that were acting against me.

The files were provided with an enormous delay. I should have received the files no later than 17 August 2013 but those were received on 19 December 2013.

Internal Complaint:

This matter was included in my internal UoL complaint.

Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.), Prof David Wynford-Thomas (Stage 1 Complaint) and Prof Mark P Thompson (Senior Pro-Vice-ChancellorStage 2 Complaint) failed to investigate it during the internal complaint procedures.

OIA:

Both Miss Sally Adams (Adjudicator Officer) and Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Officer) from the OIA first outcome letter dated 27 August 2014 and second outcome letter dated 22 September 2014 respectively, failed to investigate this aspect of my complaint.

The OIA had the duty to investigate it accordingly with their rules and regulations “Delays or maladministration” and Breach of University procedures“.

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Therefore, the OIA failed to investigate and uphold my complaint.

  • False allegations from the UoL:

Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor), in one of his report, made serious deceitful assertions against me.

The above-mentioned report was quoted between Mr. Nigel Siesage secretary of Prof David Wynford-Thomas (Stage 1 Complaint) and Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.), on an e-mail dated 11 March 2013 during the Stage 1 Complaint.

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  • The report was never disclosed from the UoL to my attention.
  • The report was never included in the internal stages of the complaint as expected.
  • The report was instead included in the files obtained through the “data access subject request”.

The report stated the following;

  • Indeed when unusual results were produced during his studies he at time blamed others for contaminating his stock or disturbing his experiments, and show a reluctant to accept responsibility for his own errors”.
  • “When Mr. Casu first wished to make a complaint, he wrote to me regarding advice on his Thesis (discussed at length below). Now, I understand that this is done deliberately in order to stop me progressing and generate confusion. Subsequent emails on this topic and others (including requests for a letter of reference to be sent to his home address) were rather confrontational, and caused me a fair amount of stress and discomfort. During this period, I have consulted with Prof Kyriacou, Prof Julian Ketley, and Dr Peter Meacock on this issue, and done the utmost to deal with this difficult situation professionally and correctly”.
  • Another concern at this time was Mr. Casu’s reluctance to take advice from myself or other colleagues in the lab. Indeed, when unusual results were produced during his studies he at times blamed others for contaminating his stocks or disturbing his experiments, and showed a reluctance to accept responsibility for his own errors”.
  • “Mr. Casu received support from other researchers in the lab”.
  • “Mr. Casu had a certain air of over-importance to his work”.

Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor), also incorrectly stated the following;

Mr. Casu agreed to pass the correction of my Thesis to Carlo Breda”.

All the above is entirely false, and the UoL and the senior members involved failed to substantiate the above assertions, there is no evidence that proves it happened and who was actually involved in these incidents.

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  • The UoL was invited on many occasions to legitimate the above assertions.
  • I always legitimated my assertion and used evidence to substantiate the facts occurred.
  • The Documents A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K that are cited in the above report, do not support the accusations issued by Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor).
  • The UoL failed to substantiate the above statements.
  • Therefore, there is no evidence that shows that the above actually occurred, and there are no files or any documentation available that discloses those assertions.
  • Strangely, these accusations came out during my Stage 1 Complaint and there is no trace of these events during my Ph.D.
  • Senior members of the UoL should be corrected and state the truth.

During the stages of my internal complaint, I asked the UoL on many occasions to provide me concrete proves of the assertions issued;

  1. Was a complaint filed against Mr. Casu about the above incident/s?
  2. Why was Mr. Casu not informed about the above incident/s?
  3. When the above occurred?
  4. On which circumstances Mr. Casu blamed others students for contaminating his stock or disturbing his experiments?
  5. Where is the report of Mr. Casu about the above incident/s?
  6. Did Mr. Casu file a complaint about it?
  7. If not, why did Mr. Casu not file a complaint?
  8. Who was involved about the above incident/s?
  9. If Mr. Casu made such assertions, why Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was not able to provide any document or e-mail that discloses it?
  10. Which experiment/s did not work?
  11. On which circumstances Mr Casu was reluctant to take advice from Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor)?

All the above questions, unfortunately, remained without an answer.

If Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor), performed well as a supervisor as he stated, why was he removed and substituted with two new supervisors?

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There is actually a large number of private communications between Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor), Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) and Prof Charalambos P. Kyriacou (known as Bambos) where clearly showed conspiracy and prejudice performed against me, it will be seen later on this page at the voice “Conspiracy, bias and prejudice“.

Internal Complaint:

The above was included in my internal UoL complaint.

Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.), Prof David Wynford-Thomas (Stage 1 Complaint) and Prof Mark P Thompson (Senior Pro-Vice-ChancellorStage 2 Complaint) failed to investigate this aspect of my complaint during the internal complaint procedures.

OIA:

Both Miss Sally Adams (Adjudicator Officer) and Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Officer) from the OIA first outcome letter dated 27 August 2014 and second outcome letter dated 22 September 2014 respectively, failed to investigate this aspect of my complaint.

The OIA had the duty to investigate it accordingly with their own rules and regulations.

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Therefore, the OIA totally failed to investigate and uphold my complaint.

  • Syncope episodes:

On 4 October 2012, I had two severe syncope’s episodes. They have been attributed it to a very marked level of stress followed by a severe drop in blood pressure. The stress was clearly generated in relation to the awful supervision provided by Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) during my Thesis correction, and in connection of the awful treatments received from the UoL.

On 29 October 2012, I had a new episode of syncope.

Therefore; my GP through a medical certificate strongly recommended the suspension of my academic activity for at least 4 months.

The medical certificate described; “depression, anxiety, insomnia and severe drop in blood pressure followed by faintness related to stress generated by my academic course.

Depression and anxiety were clearly caused by the awful treatment (harassment and bullying) and the victimisation from senior members of the UoL; Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor), Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) and Prof Charalambos P. Kyriacou (known as Bambos).

The perpetuated failures from Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) (see; Thesis corrections, publications, faulty equipment, false allegations and meetings), increased my levels of distress and frustration that culminating in the syncope episodes above described. The above was also exacerbated from the perpetuating failures of Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) during my complaint procedures, and about the horrible way, he dealt with my post-graduate application at the LSBU.

Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor), admitted that my syncope episodes were generated during the writing of my Thesis and opted to suspend my Ph.D.

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Internal Complaint:

The above was included in my internal UoL complaint.

Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.), Prof David Wynford-Thomas (Stage 1 Complaint) and Prof Mark P Thompson (Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor – Stage 2 Complaint) failed to investigate this aspect of my complaint during the internal complaint procedures.

OIA:

Both Miss Sally Adams (Adjudicator Officer) and Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Manager) from the OIA first outcome letter dated 27 August 2014 and second outcome letter dated 22 September 2014 respectively, failed to investigate this aspect of my complaint.

The OIA had the duty to investigate it accordingly with their rules and regulations.

  • Internal UoL complaint and UoL failures:

There are a lot of failures in the way the UoL dealt with the internal complaint.

 Initial stage complaint is dated 17 December 2012.

  • I followed and strictly observed in full the regulations of the complaint.
  • I provided a generous amount of time (42 days against the 28 days as shown in the complaint procedures).
  • I provided a longer length of time in order to be sure that the UoL was investigating the matter appropriately.

Initial stage complaint‘s reply was provided on 13 February 2013 from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of Department).

  • Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.), failed to investigate the matter appropriately and he attempted to justify failures and misconducts in front of the serious events occurred and the tangible evidence, as a remedy Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.), invited me to provide an apology to Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor).
  • It was asked if I could be accompanied by a friend at the interview that Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) offered me, but I did not reply to me.

Stage 1 Complaint is dated 05 March 2013.

Again as seen above, I provided 42 days against the 28 days as specified in the complaint procedures, in order to receive an appropriate investigation of the matter.

Stage 1 Complaint‘s reply was provided on 07 May 2013 from Prof David Wynford-Thomas.

  • Again, the complaint was poorly investigated with no sign of remedies and no apologies for the serious events occurred.
  • The report issued from Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) (without date), was required from Prof David Wynford-Thomas (Stage 1 Complaintrequest was made through an e-mail dated 11 March 2013.
  • A copy of the Dr Flaviano Giorgini ’s report was obtained through the “data subject request access”. The UoL never provided a copy and never included the above report during the 3 stages of the complaint.
  • Why did Prof David Wynford-Thomas (Stage 1 Complaint) not include the report and also he did not mention about this report in his complaint’s reply?
  • Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) was in charge to investigate only Initial stage complaint between the 17 December 2013 and the 13 February 2014, “why was the above report not issued at that stage?
  • Each stage of the complaint procedure has to be completely independent of the previous stage; therefore; Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) should not have been involved or interfering at the 1st stage complaint or any other stages of the complaint.
  • Prof David Wynford-Thomas (Stage 1 Complaint) should have performed his investigation completely autonomously from any other officers involved at the previous stages of the complaint.

Stage 2 Complaint (final stage) is dated 30 May 2013.

The UoL was invited to find a resolution of the matter in the common interest of the parts involved.

Stage 2 Complaint‘s reply (final stage)  was dated 27 June 2013 and it was provided from Prof Mark P Thompson (Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor).

  • As seen previously there was a severe failure investigating the matter in an appropriate manner, and also was rejected the possibility of a prima facie case.
  • It was unreasonable from the UoL having failed for a prima facie case in front of the severe misconducts occurred and the tangible evidence provided.
  • The UoL failed to put things right and failed to find a resolution of the matter.

 Therefore, my complaint was rejected and no remedies were applied from the UoL.

The only remedy implemented by the UoL was the substitution of Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) with two new supervisors Dr Fred Tata and Dr Jonathan McDearmid. As explained above it was done at a very late stage compromising my Thesis and my Viva Voce performance.

UoL’s policy:

The UoL has policies in place concerning complaining procedures and regulations;

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010.
  • The University’s complaints procedure is founded on the assumption that staff will at all times deal thoughtfully and sympathetically with students’ problems, so as to minimise the extent to which the formal stages of the procedures need to be followed.
  • The main aspect of the complaint is that; a student should have his/her levels of stress minimised during the internal complaint procedures, therefore the HEP should bring the complaint to a quick resolution especially where evidence was provided and where there is a clear failure of the higher education provider to have delivered a service that the student was entitled to receive.
  • Where indicated in these regulations, a student may be accompanied to a hearing or interview by a friend or a representative, who may be a member of the Education Unit of the University of Leicester Students’ Union.

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QAA:

The QAA code of conduct Chapter B9, states the following;

  • HEP have procedures for handling academic appeals and student complaints about the quality of learning opportunities; these procedures are fair, accessible and timely, and enable enhancement.
  • HEP make available opportunities for students to raise matters of concern without risk of disadvantage.
  • HEP make clear who has access to their appeals and complaints procedures and take appropriate steps to reduce the likelihood of students being inhibited from making an appeal or complaint due to a concern that they may be treated less favourably as a consequence.
  • HEP have procedures which encourage constructive engagement with the appeals and complaints process and which offer opportunities for early and/or informal resolution.
  • Clear processes, which are not unduly legalistic or potentially intimidating, and which provide students with appropriate opportunities to provide relevant evidence, contribute to developing such confidence. Where students can see that the higher education provider has taken action previously in response to issues identified through appeals and complaints, this also builds trust and confidence in the process.
  • Academic appeals and complaints procedures are conducted in a timely and fair manner.
  • HEP ensure that appropriate action is taken following an appeal or complaint.

OIA:

The OIA had the duty to investigate it according to their rules and regulations;

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  • Both, UoL and OIA had the duty to investigate any form of maladministration and procedural irregularities.
  • Both, UoL and OIA failed doing so.
  • I was subject to victimisation by the UoL after having filed my complaint.
  • The UoL instead to put things right, perpetrated the horrid and a cruel action against me.

Equality Act 2010 (Chapter 2 – FURTHER AND HIGHER EDUCATION), strictly condemn any form of victimisations.

First outcome letter dated 27 August 2014, the investigator was Miss Sally Adams (Adjudicator Officer);

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Second outcome letter dated 22 September 2014, the investigator was Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Manager);

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Oops!! The two outcomes from Miss Sally Adams (Adjudicator Officer); and Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Officer) are identical. It is enough to show how poorly and inconsiderately the OIA investigate cases of serious misconducts from HEP.

  • The UoL has indeed a strict time limit as it showed in its policies.
  • Policies are there to be respected and observed by both parts; student and HEP.
  • The OIA stated that the UoL was not responsible for replying to all the issues of my complaint.
  • The HEP has the duty to investigate serious misconducts and find a quick resolution as it stated by the UoL‘s policies and the QAA guidance.
  • Indeed, all the events occurred were entirely serious events.
  • The HEP has the duty to take disciplinary action against those members that seriously breach the policies, in line with the QAA code of conduct and the related law.
  • The UoL in front of the large serious misconducts had the responsibility to investigate the case seriously.
  • The UoL neglected the above.
  • The evidence at Stage 2 Complaint contrary to Miss Sally Adams (Adjudicator Officer) statement, was clearly provided and it was exactly related to the report issued by Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and his false accusations.
  • The OIA neglected the above.
  • The Stage 2 Complaint should have been granted with a prima facie case in regard to the severe events occurred.
  • Again, the OIA  neglected the above.
  • Being called rubbish is a serious offense.
  • Inciting other senior members of the UoL to attack a student, as Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) did, it is again a serious misconduct in breach of the UoL’s policies, the QAA code of conduct and the related law.
  • A student can decline a meeting and decide to keep the complaint in writing.
  • The UoL did not offer me to bring a friend during the meeting.
  • The OIA attempted to deflect the serious failures of the awful behaviour exercised and abused by the senior members of the UoL awkwardly justifying the severe abuse perpetrated.
  • There are a lot of serious misconducts proved through tangible evidence provided during my complaint procedures to the UoL and successively to the OIA, for which both the UoL and OIA failed to investigate it appropriately.
  • The OIA clearly showed to act in favour of the UoL and awkwardly repeatedly attempted to justify such of horrible offenses occurred.

Therefore, the OIA failed to investigate the matter and apply for the appropriate remedies.

  • Appointing a Chair:

Prior to my Viva Voce performed on 10 September 2013, the UoL decided to appoint a chair.

The UoL took this decision without to inform me. I came across about it only once I obtained copies of internal e-mails communications through the “data subject request access”, in which explicitly the UoL appointed a chair and planned the failure of my Viva Voce (details are seen later in this section).

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On several e-mails (from 17 August 2013 to 26 August 2013) sent to the attention of Dr Ezio Rosato (Internal Examiner) and Prof Sarah Hainsworth (Graduate Dean), I asked repeatedly why I was not informed about the above decision and why the UoL decided to appoint a chair.

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Prof Sarah Hainsworth (Graduate Dean) in her e-mail dated 29 August 2013 stated the following;

“I am writing to confirm that as Graduate Dean it falls to me to approve the examining team, and, having received the necessary assurances that the appropriate procedures and recommendations have been followed by your Department for the appointment of examiners, I have no reason to be other than confident that the examining panel has been properly constituted.  That having been said, you will be aware from the information that you were signposted to on the website that in certain circumstances, although those mentioned on the website are by no means exclusive, the University may wish to appoint a Chair to monitor its examination procedures and standards. It is entirely within the rights of the University to appoint a Chair, and there is no requirement for the University to seek the consent of a candidate to do so.  Consequently, a candidate does not have the right to object to the selection of a Chair as part of the viva examination”.

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Prof Sarah Hainsworth (Graduate Dean) maybe forgotten that; “HEP have to justify their decisions taken, and have the obligation to inform the student in regard to it“.

The name of the candidate chair was changed on several occasions.

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There are several internal e-mails between Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) and other members of the UoL, where Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) is asserting that he decided to appoint a chair in order to prevent me appealing against the performance of my Viva Voce.

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Therefore, accordingly with the above e-mails, it clearly showed how Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) premeditated the failing of my Viva Voce in advance, and the chair was appointed to prevent me from making any potential academic appeal against the UoL. It seems that Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) was aware that I was going to fail my Viva Voce before having performed it.

Despite having repeatedly asked the UoL to provide me elucidation about the above vile action from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) and other members of the UoL, I never received any substantiations about it.

UoL’s policy:

The UoL has policies in place in the regard to appointing a chair;

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Accordingly, the chair should not “make any comments” during the Viva Voce in regard to the performance of the students, but merely the chair should be there to check if the examiners performed in line in accordance with the higher education provider’s rules. This was not the case. Considering that, my Viva Voce performance was recorded; it appears that Prof David Lambert (Chair) unfortunately breached the rules on many occasions expressing comments on my presentation.

QAA;

The QAA code of conduct on chapters B6B7B10B11, states that the examination in order to be validated has to be; “transparent, reliable and robust”. The above examination’s team failed to meet these requirements.

OIA;

According to the OIA ‘s rules, the OIA has the duty to consider a complaint in the case of; Poor communication or misinformation from the higher education provider forward to the student”.

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From the OIA first outcome letter dated 27 August 2014 Miss Sally Adams (Adjudicator Officer) she stated as followed;

Mr. Casu appealed against his Ph.D. result on the grounds of prejudice or bias on the part of the Examiners. His particular concerns related to (a) the appointment of a Chair to oversee the viva.

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From the OIA second outcome letter dated 22 September 2014 Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Manager) second outcome letter;

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Oops!! Again as seen previously the two outcomes files from the OIA are identical!!

  • The UoL indeed decided to appoint a chair but never informed the student about this decision.
  • The UoL failed to substantiate how and why this decision was reached.
  • Strangely, the UoL did not apply this measure on other occasions for other Ph.D. students when it was actually required; Carlo Breda and Edward Green (Former Ph.D. students) were members of the UoL when they performed their Viva Voce, therefore, the UoL should have appointed a chair following and applying their own policies.
  • As a student, I am entitled (through the QAA code of conduct and the internal UoL’s policies) to be informed about any decision where the student is directly involved in that status.

The OIA failed to investigate this aspect of my complaint and to take the appropriate action.

  • Conspiracy, bias, and prejudice:

There is indeed a large number of e-mails, regarding private communications between senior members at the UoL, in particular between; Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) and other senior UoL’s members. They are tangible evidence showing the misconducts perpetuated against me during my academic Ph.D.’s course. The above was performed in a deliberate action showing that the failure of my Thesis was premeditated by senior members of the UoL.

The below e-mail was sent from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) on 5 June 2013 to Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor). Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) is instructing Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) to ignore and not reply my e-mails, it occurred exactly when I was in need of help during the writing of my Thesis. In another e-mail (showed below) Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) is alerting the others senior members that I submitted my Thesis.

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On the e-mail below, Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was asking to Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) if the draft e-mail was fine. This clearly showed the going on conjecture against me between senior members of the UoL.

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On the next e-mail, Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was informing Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) about his intention to stop replying my e-mails. As it was mentioned above, that occurred while I was in need of guidance during the writing of my Thesis.

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On the next e-mail, Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) was asking advice to Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) if the drafted e-mail was fine and he was asking for additional comments.

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On the next e-mail dated 11 June 2013, again Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) was instructing Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) to ignore my e-mails, not reply me and possibly forward all my e-mails to him

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On 11 June 2013, again, Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) was informing Miss Louise Masterman (Complaint Officer – Stage 2 Complaint ) that Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) has to ignore my e-mails and forward them to him.

That is so disgusting!!

Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) should have been investigating my complaint and potentially putting things right. It does not appear to be the proper manner to do so.

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On the next e-mail dated 12 February 2013 between Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.), it was in regard to the potential financial extension for which I  was actually entitled but it was rejected while it was provided to ALL the other Ph.D. students at the same department.

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On 13 May 2013, again, Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) was instructing Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) to leave all the e-mails to his attention.

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…..and Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) agreed!

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From an e-mail dated 15 May 2013 Prof. Charalambos P. Kyriacou (known as Bambos) was suggesting that Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) should suspend all the communication with me. As a result, I was left entirely without a supervisor.

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….and Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) acted as he was instructed.

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On 17 May 2013, again Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) was informing Mr. Nigel Siesage (Complaint Officer), that was decided to ignore all my e-mails. My e-mails were sent to Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor), as I was in need of clarifications respect the corrections he awkwardly edited on my Thesis. Again, I was left totally without supervision’s support.

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Moreover, an e-mail dated 18 April 2013 sent from Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) to Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.). Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) does not seem to be aware of his duties as a supervisor.

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On the same day, through an e-mail, Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.)  was instructing Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) to provide me just his opinion about my Thesis, and the decision to submit my Thesis was entirely my responsibility.   

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On another e-mail dated again dated 18 April 2013, sent from Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) to Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.). Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was attempting to find a strategy in order to reject my request for a written reference (it was seen previously in the section “Reference”).

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The next e-mail was sent from Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) to Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.). It showed how e-mails were easily twisted before being forwarded to me.

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On the next e-mail sent on 26 April 2013, from Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) to Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.). Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was searching approvals from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.). The e-mail showed as Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) discharged his responsibilities about my Thesis.

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The three next e-mails dated 12 August 2012, 29 and 26 April 2016, showed Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) confabulating potential strategies in order to find the best reply to be forwarded to me. It seems that Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was unable to write an appropriate e-mail and consequently was constantly asking advice to Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.).

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The macabre action from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) is seen in the next e-mail; he was inciting other members of the UoL to attack me, and offensively defining me with the attribute of “Rubbish”. This e-mail was already included in the first section of this web page, at the voice “Harassment”. I am including it again as it worth to be suggested again, it is so disgusting thinking that the “Head of Department” of the UoL could be so provocative.

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UoL’s policies:

Despite the breaches to the UoL’s policies, the QAA code of conduct and the related law. The UoL failed to investigate the above.

Internal Complaint:

This matter was included in my internal UoL complaint.

Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.), Prof David Wynford-Thomas (Stage 1 Complaint) and Prof Mark P Thompson (Senior Pro-Vice-ChancellorStage 2 Complaint) failed to investigate it during the internal complaint procedures.

OIA:

The same outcome was seen from the OIA, both; Miss Sally Adams (Adjudicator Officer) and Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Officer) first outcome letter dated 27 August 2014 and second outcome letter dated 22 September 2014 respectively, failed to investigate this aspect of my complaint.

Shockingly, the Administrative Court classified my case “TOTALLY WITHOUT MERIT” despite the breach of the law and a large amount of tangible evidence.

Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.), is responsible having premeditated the failure of my Viva Voce, (see internal communication between senior members of the UoL at the section “Appointing a chair“).

  • Viva Voce (academic report) and UoL’s academic appeal:

The preparation of my Viva Voce was not for certain the most enjoyable experience I have ever had; this was primarily due to the awful supervision experienced with Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and the horrible way I was treated and the poor manner in which the UoL dealt with all the above issues.

On 10 September 2013, I performed my Viva Voce. The Viva Voce lasted almost 5 hours, against the average of 1.5 hours of the other Ph.D. students in the same department.

The Viva Voce performance was recorded. It was done merely to protect myself after I obtained copies of the internal communication between senior members in which the UoL premeditated the failure of my Viva Voce.

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I passed the Viva Voce and the comments made by Dr Ezio Rosato (Internal ExaminerDr Kevin Moffat (External Examiner) and Prof David Lambert (Chair) were very positive.

 On 19 September 2013, I received the academic report from the UoL.

The academic report was entirely written in less than one page.

The academic report informed me that; I passed my Viva Voce but I failed my Thesis. The academic report did not substantiate why I failed it.

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Along with the academic report, were also included two forms; “Financial Statement Resubmission” and “Notice of intention to resubmit”.

The UoL failed to include an important piece of information; it is referred to the “right of appeal”.

According to the OIA, it falls under the voice of “Misinformation”.

The academic report referred to a list of errors that could not be detected in my Thesis.

Even in this circumstance, I asked explanation about the above to the UoL, but as seen before the UoL failed to provide the appropriate elucidations.

Academic appeal:

On 14 October 2013, I submitted to the UoL the “First Academic Appeal”. I provided a detailed dissection of the academic report and all the failures related to it.

The academic report was;

  • Very elusive and it was not targeting the nature of the inaccuracies on my potential Thesis, inevitably causing confusion to the student without to address and clearly helping to identify what hypothetically was erroneous.
  • The types of comments included in the academic report were not detailed and consequently resulted in being imperceptible.

 From the academic report, Dr Ezio Rosato (Internal Examiner) stated that:

  • “However, the presentation of the Thesis was deemed unacceptable”.
  • “The abstract has been examined and should be rewritten”.

The above comments were elusive and vague, and it did not clarify at all any potential problems on my Thesis.

Dr Ezio Rosato (Internal Examiner) based his academic report to a list of faults that actually were not perceptible on my Thesis.

There was a severe inconsistency from the comments made from Dr Kevin Moffat (External ExaminerUniversity of Warwick) and the academic report issued by Dr Ezio Rosato (Internal Examiner).

Dr Kevin Moffat (External ExaminerUniversity of Warwick) kindly provided me with a copy of my Thesis with the entire list of potential corrections. Surprisingly, my abstract had only 3 errors and they also were minus corrections, a complete inconsistency with the academic report issued by Dr Ezio Rosato (Internal Examiner) in which stated that; “The abstract has been examined and should be rewritten.

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The full corrections on my Thesis provided from Dr Kevin Moffat (External ExaminerUniversity of Warwick) were amended in less than two weeks, showing that all the faults listed were minor errors.

Unbelievable but true, the academic report issued from Dr Ezio Rosato (Internal Examiner) was also accusing me of potential faults performed in another research institute, it referred to studies made at the University of Cambridge (notorious University), only because I used it as a citation on my Thesis.

This is was my reply to Dr Ezio Rosato (Internal Examiner);

“However, the study was performed by Korolchuk et al., 2007 at the University of Cambridge”. “I am not here to make comments on the work performed by the above author for whom I strongly believed that it was a genuine work, my results using the same transgenic fruit flies were in parallel with their outcomes”.  Showing that my experiments were performed appropriately and with accuracy”.

The academic report showed also other serious incongruities and discrepancies; it is listing a number of specific errors that cannot be detected in my Thesis.

  • The material and methods section of my Thesis was classified to be inadequate. Material and methods are performed from the same protocol for all students; therefore. my methods were exactly the same as described by Carlo Breda (Former Ph.D. student). Accordingly, mine was wrong but those from other students were correct.
  • Other identical errors, were instead present on the final Thesis of other Ph.D. students; i.e “Cyo” is an abbreviation used for a specific type of fruit flies, for which it should be written in tiny letter, this error that is actually a minor error, was present on the final Thesis of Carlo Breda (Former Ph.D. student) and it was not classified as an error while it was classified as an error on my Thesis.

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The above clearly stated as some students were treated with different evaluation standard respect me (bias).

On a communication had via e-mail with Prof David Lambert (Chair) dated 10 September 2013, he invited me to accept the outcome of the UoL.

He stated exactly the following;

 “You MUST just accept this and get on with what is important – providing an acceptable thesis”.

Prof David Lambert (Chair) actually failed to inform me about my right to appeal, but more importantly, he should not be interchanged any communication with me accordingly with the UoL’s policies.

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The UoL was informed about it during my academic appeal.

On 30 November 2013, the UoL provided its reply in regard of my First Academic Appeal”; the report was issued from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) which stated the following;

Mr. Casu asserts that the report lacks detail. It is not necessary for the examiners to provide exact details of every individual issue with suggestions as to how the issue is addressed. The examining team comment directly on the number and broad range of issues that they have with the dissertation and the large number made it impossible to label every individual point. The onus is on the student to carry out a re-write of the dissertation themselves, it is not the responsibility of either the examiners or the supervisors to do more than judge and advise. In fact the examiners have jointly produced a detailed report with clear descriptions of the main issues, with examples, that should form a good basis upon which the student can start the rewriting process. The perceived lack of detail does not amount to prejudice or bias”.

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Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) was completely inappropriate about his assertions;

  • An initial informal complaint was actually sent in July 2012 to the attention of Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) in regard to the failures from Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) not having corrected my Thesis appropriately, therefore, much in advance respect the decision to appoint the external examiner.
  • The list of imperceptible faults itemised from Dr Ezio Rosato (Internal Examiner) showed a clear action of bias against me. It is also confirmed as showed above by the incongruence about similar errors from my Thesis and the Thesis of other Ph.D. students.
  • As stated above the corrections provided by Dr Kevin Moffat (External Examiner-University of Warwick) differed substantially from the academic report issued by Dr Ezio Rosato (Internal Examiner).
  • The UoL had the duty to be transparent and unambiguous in regard to the potential errors detected on my Thesis and had the duty to be very clear and detailed, in order to put the student in the position to correct the Thesis.
  • Not being transparent and insinuating about potential errors not detectable on the Thesis is a clear form of bias and prejudice against the student.
  • It was confirmed by the internal communication and the intention to appoint a chair to preclude me taking an academic appeal against the UoL . The UoL seems knowing in advance that I was failing my Viva Voce before having performed it.

On my “Second Academic Appeal”, dated 07 January 2014 and provided to the attention of the UoL along with further evidence; the UoL was invited to answer the following questions;

  • Was the UoL considering in advance the failure of my Viva Voce?
  • On which basis was it supposed?
  • Why was the UoL so confident that I was going to appeal before having actually performed my Viva Voce?
  • A student has the right to know the exact nature of the errors, this in order to be put in the position to amend the appropriate corrections.

On 28 January 2014, 2nd stage of academic appeal the UoL denied any ground of my appealing based on bias and prejudice, the decision was taken despite a large number of tangible evidence provided.

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The UoL panel did not instead consider the following;

  • Indeed, I was actually left without an appropriate guide and support during the writing of my Thesis and the preparation of the Viva Voce. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) resulted in being inadequate, the UoL agreed in this view removing Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and appointing two new supervisors Dr Fred Tata and Dr Jonathan McDearmid, therefore admitting that I was left without the support from supervisors and consequently being penalised.
  • The UoL had the strict duty to inform the student of his/her rights to appeal against the academic decision made by the UoL .
  • The UoL failed to do so.
  • The failures of the examination team were clearly illustrated during the academic appeal and are again visibly illustrated on this web page.
  • The nomination of the chair was made in order to prevent any potential appealing, all the internal communications as cited above were made as a premeditated action against me, and it is an indistinct form of bias, conspiracy, and prejudice.

QAA:

The QAA code of conduct on chapters B6B7B10-B11 states that; the examination in order to be validated has to be; transparent, reliable and robust. The above examination’s team failed to meet these requirements.

In more details from the QAA code of conduct;

  • An academic examination has to be reliable, transparent and robust.
  • The assessment process measures student achievement rigorously and fairly against the intended outcomes of the programme(s) and is conducted in line with the institution’s policies and regulations.
  • HEP operate equitable, valid and reliable processes of assessment, including for the recognition of prior learning, which enable every student to demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the intended learning outcomes for the credit or qualification being sought
  • The effective resolution of appeals and complaints depends on all those involved – staff and students – engaging in a way which recognises the interests and concerns of each other and approaching the matter with objectivity and respect. HEP, therefore, encourage students to recognise that an outcome which is not the one they might have been seeking is nevertheless valid, provided the process has been designed and implemented in a way which is fair and based on the consideration of relevant available evidence.
  • A relevant master’s qualification or equivalent evidence of prior professional practice or learning that meets the higher education provider’s criteria and guidelines for the APEL and/or APCL (including, for example, the required amount of prior publications or other output specified for applicants for the award of Ph.D. by published work).
  • Assessment criteria may be modified to reflect differences in subjects such as the performing or visual arts and those of professional and practice-based doctorates and doctorates by published work.
  • demonstrable research achievement as recognised either through peer assessment as internationally excellent  or above,  or consistently recognised by the award  of grants in open competition-with, in both cases, outputs such as journal publications, books  and  work produced in other  media, including engineering, performing arts, sculpture, fine art and  design, and  other professional practice-based and  clinical contexts.
  • Research degree final assessment procedures are clear and are operated rigorously, fairly and consistently. They include input from an external examiner and are carried out to a reasonable timescale. Assessment procedures are communicated clearly to research students, supervisors and examiners.
  • Degree-awarding bodies take ultimate responsibility for academic standards and the quality of learning opportunities, irrespective of where these are delivered or who provides them. Arrangements for delivering learning opportunities with organisations other than the degree-awarding body are implemented securely and managed effectively.

 Where were the UoL’s policies in regard to the above?

The Law:

The law in this area is clear and precise, the Equality Act 2010 (c. 15) Part 6 — Education Chapter 2 — Further and higher education state the following; Students: admission and treatment, etc.

(1) The responsible body of an institution to which this section applies must not

discriminate against a person—

  • in the arrangements it makes for deciding who is offered admission as a student;
  • as to the terms on which it offers to admit the person as a student;
  • by not admitting the person as a student.

(2) The responsible body of such an institution must not discriminate against a student

  • in the way it provides education for the student;
  • in the way it affords the student access to a benefit, facility or service;
  • by not providing education for the student;
  • by not affording the student access to a benefit, facility or service;
  • by excluding the student;
  • by subjecting the student to any other detriment.

(6) The responsible body of such an institution must not victimise a person—

  • in the arrangements it makes for deciding who is offered admission as a student;
  • as to the terms on which it offers to admit the person as a student;
  • by not admitting the person as a student.

(7) The responsible body of such an institution must not victimise a student—

  • in the way it provides education for the student;
  • in the way it affords the student access to a benefit, facility or service;
  • by not providing education for the student;
  • by not affording the student access to a benefit, facility or service;
  • by excluding the student;
  • by subjecting the student to any other detriment.

OIA:

On 03 February 2014, I sent my academic appeal to the attention of the OIA (OIA/54127/14) evidence on the ground of the appealing were included.

On 14 August 2014, I sent the latest summary of both OIA/51142/13 and OIA/54127/14, respectively academic complaint and academic appealing to the attention of the OIA.

  • The Academic report was provided on 19 September 2013.
  • The Academic report was not informing me about my rights of appealing and all the procedures involved.
  • The UoL again as seen previously “Appointing a Chair” strangely forgotten to inform me about my right as a student.
  • It is clear that the UoL was hiding this information in a deliberate approach (Poor communication or misinformation).
  • The Academic report was “Vague and Elusive”.
  • The UoL should have provided me with transparent and tangible evidence substantiating how I failed my Thesis.
  • During my academic appeal to the UoL, I asked elucidation in regard of the incongruities and discrepancies detected on the academic report.
  • The Academic report did not match at all with the corrections provided by Dr Kevin Moffat (External Examiner-University of Warwick).
  • Importantly, Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was substituted with two new supervisors after my Thesis was submitted and my Viva Voce performed.
  • As a Ph.D. student, in regard to the UoL‘s policies, I should have had 2 supervisors since the beginning of my Ph.D.  
  • The UoL failed to investigate this aspect of my appeal appropriately and substantiate their decision of classifying my Thesis inadequate.

From the OIA, first outcome letter dated 27 August 2014; Miss Sally Adams (Adjudicator Officer) stated the following;

Picp18.jpgFrom the OIA, second outcome letter dated 22 September 2014, Mr. Ren Stephen (Adjudicator Manager) stated the following; 

Picp19.jpgOops!! the two outcomes are identical…..

Again, the OIA, poorly investigated my academic appeal (as seen previously regarding my complaint) against the UoL.

The OIA did not consider a large number of tangible evidence and acted in breach of the QAA code of conduct, the law, and its rules and regulations.

The OIA stated that; I did not provide evidence on the ground of prejudice and bias.

It confirmed how awkwardly the OIA acted in favour of the UoL hiding the serious misconducts perpetrated.

Failures during the Academic Appeal:

During my academic appealing stages, I was provided a very limited amount of time in order to forward my academic appealing while the Department of genetics benefitted an unlimited amount of time to provide their replies.

There was a long and extenuating communication with Ms Joanne Scialo (Assistant Register) with the attempt to enforce my rights as a student.

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The e-mails were sent in Cc to the OIA specifically to the attention of Mr. Amin (Investigator Officer) while the UoL immeasurably was rejecting my rights again.

Shockingly, the OIA disregarded completely about it.

Pre-Court letter:

An attempted finding an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in order to solve the present matter avoiding the involvement of the Administrative Court was taken. Therefore, a “Pre-court letter” was sent to the OIA on 17 November 2014. The OIA  provided a reply on 01 December 2014. The reply was issued by Miss Felicity Mitchell (Deputy Manager at OIA), unfortunately, as seen previously my case was again rejected without being substantiated.

Therefore;

  • The above Pre-Court letter highlighted the failures of both UoL and OIA and their breaches of the related Law, the UoL policies and the QAA code of conduct.
  • The OIA in their reply accused me that I did not mention the QAA code of guidance during my complaint.
  • The OIA should know that; a student does not have to inform the OIA about any potential QAA code of conduct, from which both the OIA and the UoL should be aware. The OIA should be attentive about the QAA code of conduct and any related Law in place.
  • HEP are responsible for meeting the requirements of legislation, therefore, is not the students that have the obligation to recap it.
  • Both the UoL and the OIA were clearly informed during the stages of the complaint in regards of the failures occurred and it should have been enough to invite the OIA to take the expected action.
  • The above is a clear form of negligence from the OIA.
  • The letter sent from the OIA entirely failed to argue the points I reached on my pre-court letter, and it is mainly referring to other judicial review’s cases that did not match my circumstance at all. It shows the incompetence of the OIA dealing with serious cases of academic misconduct.

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Tiago Cardao-Pito’s case (Case No: CO/1572/2011):

  1. It was a claim for judicial review against the OIA brought by an academic student at the London Business School (LBS).
  2. The claimant appealed to LBS, setting out that there was bias and prejudice against him by his supervising professor.
  3. In addition, the claimant alleged that he had been discouraged from making an appeal.
  4. The LBS concluded that the claimant has not shown a prima facie case.

Therefore;

  • The above case had many similarities to my case.
  • Which criteria adopted the OIA issuing their own decisions about my case?

And;

  • On which basis the OIA reached the outcome of “NOT JUSTIFIEDabout my complaint?
  • The OIA failed in front of the large and serious evidence of misconduct and the perpetuated failures of the UoL to put things right. The OIA failed to uphold my complaint without being able to substantiate its decision that was clearly issued in favour of the UoL.
  • The above forced me to instruct a legal proceeding against the OIA.

The Administrative Court:

The Administrative Court in the name of Judge Jeffrey Blackett rejected my case and archived it without providing a fair trial and classifying my case being “TOTALLY WITHOUT MERIT”. The Administrative Court did not offer me the possibility of appeal against this decision.

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According to The Telegraph Judge Jeffrey Blackett is accused of a mishandled trial of jailed to the marine Alexander Blackman.

BBSRC:

The complaint was brought to the attention of the BBSRC on 25 January 2017 (who sponsored my Ph.D.).

Shockingly, the BBSRC rejected the possibility to investigate the matter stating the following;

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The BBSRC cannot even find the grant reference number for which both the BBSRC and the UoL should have had (maladministration).

Review:

  • I was recurrently and severely verbally abused from senior members at the UoL. I was repeatedly called with very offensive names such as; “Guest, Dick, and Potty“, from Prof Charalambos P. Kyriacou (known as Bambos). I was described offensively with the name of “Rubbish” from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.).
  • I was persistently treated unfairly and at lower standards respect to other students.
  • I had 4 manuscripts with 4 potential publications. Only one manuscript was published, with a severe delay that was not justified. The UoL failed to substantiate what caused the obstruction in the publication of the 3 remaining manuscripts.
  • I was accused by Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) that I was constantly missing my meetings. Actually, the evidence proves exactly the opposite. Was actually Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former supervisor) frequently postponing the meetings or inviting me to meetings booked at the very last minute. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) was also postponing group meetings, because other students were not able to attend, and they were always being justified by their absence. The above accusations made by Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) emerged only in the middle of my internal complaint, I was clearly being victimised.
  • I was obstructed and not supported to apply for a post-doc position or further higher education courses. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) provided me in a deliberately way under the instruction of Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) a bland letter of reference, as a result, I missed an important Legal post-graduate academic course at LSBU, and the possibility to apply for the potential post-doc positions.
  • Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor), failed to provide me with the right support during the writing of my Thesis and the preparation of my Viva Voce. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) admitted his failures. As a result, I been struggling with a very large amount of distress during the writing of my Thesis and the preparation of my Viva Voce, it inevitably caused me the loss of enjoyment and it inexorably undermined my health causing me a series of severe faintness that ended with the temporary suspension of my Ph.D.
  • Due to the lack of support from the UoL, I failed my Thesis.
  • The UoL decided to remove Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor), and replaced him with 2 new supervisors, but this remedy was applied at very late stages when my Thesis was already submitted and my Viva Voce was already performed.
  • According to the UoL’s policies, I should have had two supervisors since the beginning of my Ph.D.
  • I was provided with faulty equipment. A homemade software without license called BeFly!. It was used in breach of the UoL ‘s policies. The UoL could not use equipment not licensed and not being checked for its accuracy and reliability. It caused me to remove a large amount of data already analysed, generating me a large amount of stress and frustration. Both Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) instructed me to remove the data already analysed. Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) and Dr Ezio Rosato (internal examiner) admitted that the software BeFly! was mistaken. Dr Ezio Rosato (internal examiner) admitted it during my Viva Voce for which his declarations were recorded.
  • I was accused by Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor), that I blamed other students of disrupting my work and my experiments. On many occasions, I invited the UoL and in particular Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor) to substantiate these accusations. Both the UoL and Dr Flaviano Giorgini (Former Supervisor), unfortunately, failed to do so. These false accusations appeared only during the progression of my internal complaint and it was clearly used from the UoL to victimise me deflecting their failures.
  • There is a lot of severe failures from the UoL during the complaint procedures. The UoL did not respect the internal protocol of the complaint and appealing procedures. The UoL was responsible for constraining into irregular procedures, instead to minimise the stress of the student, it increased my distress and frustration. The UoL denied the possibility of a prima facie case.
  • The UoL failed to provide my personal files (data subject request access) on the due timescale in respect of the Data Protection Act 1998. I received my files after 4 months respect the approved standard timescale.
  • The UoL prior to my Viva Voce decided to appoint a chair without to inform me and without to substantiate why and how it was appointed.
  • After my Viva Voce, I was informed that I passed it, but I also was informed that failed my Thesis. The UoL was unable to substantiate why I failed my Thesis. The UoL provided an academic report that was extremely vague and elusive without clarifying about the potential errors involved. The UoL during my appealing academic procedures stated that; it was not fundamental to know the exact errors involved in my Thesis. Most of the specific errors listed in the academic report were not detected in my Thesis. The academic report deferred completely from the corrections provided by Dr Kevin Moffat (External Examiner-University of Warwick), who actually showed a series of minor corrections that were amended in less than 2 weeks. The UoL did not inform me about my rights of appeal. There is a large number of internal e-mails from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) and other senior members of the UoL, which showed how the UoL premeditated the failure of my Thesis and my Viva Voce.
  • It seems accordingly that; the UoL knew in advance before I performed my Viva Voce that I was going to fail it, and therefore they decided to appoint a chair in order to prevent me from applying for an academic appeal. The above clearly showed in regard to the internal private communications from Prof Julian Ketley (Head of genetics dep.) and other senior members, a transparent action of conspiracy, bias and prejudice against me.
  • There are severe failures during the appealing procedures.
  • The UoL has been in constant breach of their own policies, QAA code of conduct and the related Law. The UoL was repeatedly invited to investigate the above appropriately and applied for a remedy.
  • The UoL neglected completely the severe debacles occurred, increasing stress and frustration that ultimately affected my health severely.
  • The OIA did not consider my complaint appropriately, in regard to the clear evidence provided, the macabre episodes occurred and the failure of the UoL‘s policies, breach of the QAA code of conduct and the related Law. Consequently, the OIA failed to take action against the UoL. The OIA awkwardly attempted to justify and legitimate the awful and malicious behaviour of the UoL and its senior members.
  • The OIA has been in breach of the own rules, in breach of the law (the Equality Act 2010) and in breach of the QAA code of conduct.
  • The OIA entirely neglected my complaint.
  • Shockingly, the Administrative Court in the name of the judge Jeffrey Blackett classified my case being “Totally Without Merit”. The Administrative Court denied me the possibility to challenge this decision and my case was archived.
  • The BBSRC failed to investigate my case.

Conclusions:

Among all academic cases of bullying occurred in the last 20 years, I could not find a similar case of extreme horrid cruelty perpetrated against a Ph.D. student from senior academic members. Students should be rigorously treated with dignity and respect by academic institutions, in line with the University policies and the QAA guidance that are clear and precise in the merit of the respect that a student should receive.

Unfortunately, the UoL opted to leave the perpetrators to carry on with their undisturbed miserable and macabre abuse, without to make any effort to stop it and without attempting to put the things right.

My case was successively brought to the attention of the OIA that in turn failed to investigate it appropriately and awkwardly justified all the horrible incidents occurred classifying the severe misconducts as a normal treatment and procedure provided to a student.

A judicial review was taken to the attention of the Administrative Court against the OIA. Shockingly, the Administrative Court classified my case “totally without merit” ….denying an appropriate court trial, and rejecting any possibility of appeal against this decision. Despite having provided a large number of tangible evidence highlighting the severity of the incidents occurred. I am still wondering on which bases the Administrative Court classified my case being “totally without merit”.

I am still fighting to obtain justice, please sign my petition.

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14 thoughts on “My Case/English

  1. Hi Max. I see that you are fixing up your website. I look forward to learning more about your case and ways we can build solidarity and activism around the various abuses that happen within the neoliberal higher education system. All the best, Sanaz.

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    1. Hi Sanaz, glad to hear from you, my case was brought to the attention of the Administrative Court and my case was closed being classified “Totally Without Merit”, you will remain shocked when you will look what has actually happened at the UoL, please give me sometime to set it. Definitely we have to fight shoulder to shoulder, I am also preparing 3 petitions one against the UoL the other against the OIA and finally the last against the Administrative Court…I am following your case too I have noticed that the Administrative Court has lost your files….talk soon Max

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  2. Hi Sanaz, of course things will be made in details and without rush, the site is not completed, 90% has to be set out. By the way do you know anybody else with our similar cases? I think is important to fight all together and make a network, tomorrow I will make a FB and Twitter page step by step everything will be done….keep in touch..max

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  3. I have been reading this site entirely, and I remained shocked and sickness reading about this story. A student being called with those vilifying and humiliating names in front of others members of the University, being constantly and repeatedly declassified in front of other students, being obstructed from his progression and providing bad reference being done deliberately from his supervisor and the head of the department, being using faulty equipment with the department acknowledgement, kept for 5 hours during his viva and after he passed the exam successfully the University denied his Ph.D. Shame for those who acted so miserably….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Jenny, thanks for having read my story and took your time to put a comment. I had also 4 publication but only one manuscript was published the other 3 disappeared and the UoL failed to legitimate what happened. However, it along with the long Viva examination (5 hours vs 1 hour for the other Ph.D. students) showed clearly my ability and the fact I earned my Ph.D. but comfortably the UoL rejected it without legitimations. The UoL also planned the failure of my Ph.D. and it is showed by the internal e-mails communications between senior members. Soon my petition will be active and I would appreciate if you can sign it. Thanks again….

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  4. “OMG, this is so awful!! How can a University treat a student with such cruelty? This is a very bad story, I am surprised to realise that there is a clear failure of the entire system considering that the UOL, the OIA and finally the Administrative Court failed to put things right and those academic teachers are there probably to target other students…..really disgusting a really shame!!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Paula, thanks for having read my story and took your time to put a comment. Yes, there is not an appropriate adjective to describe this cruel and macabre story, and the UoL escape for free, the individuals involved in this miserable episodes did not receive any disciplinary action. It seems that you have the liberty to markedly abuse against a student and nobody will stop you doing so, it reflects the failure of the UoL itself putting things right and so the OIA that apparently did classify my case into the normality of the standard treatment that a student can expect to receive. The Administrative Court archived the case saying that it was “totally without merit” denying me a fair trial and denying the possibility of appealing….very anti-democratic action… Soon my petition will be active and I would appreciate if you can sign it. Thanks again….

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      1. Of course I can sign your petition Max. This is an awful thing that you have had to deal with. It saddens me to think that there was no support around when you needed it. I hope when all this comes out you get the outcome you deserve. By reading it all ,you worked really hard and didn’t deserve to be treated this badly. Good luck with it all

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This story is really disgusting and horrendous about any aspect of it. I am really wondering how this student could not have obtained justice in front of what has happened. It shows as the system is entirely corrupted and Universities are reaching a stage in which can freely abused to students without to be investigated and be reprimanded. Really, really disgusting….. the people involved in this macabre story should be ashamed for rest of their entirely life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Daniele, sorry if I am replying you so late. Thanks to have read this horrible story and I agree completely with what you have said. Unfortunately, the system in UK is complete corrupted and therefore universities feel free abusing against students, my story fully confirms it. Considering that there is no justice in this planet and less in UK these individuals soon will meet God and will get the punishment they have escaped…..

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  7. Hi Tony,

    Sorry if I am replying you a bit late, I was not ignoring your comment.

    I agree completely with you, unfortunately in UK such individuals escape because the system is completely corrupted and students do not have any rights or let’s say the rights are only written but rules regulations and the specific law is not applied…thanks to have spent the time to read this cruel story…

    Like

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