Father sues over quality of course

April 14, 2000

The father of two Dutch students has begun legal proceedings against the University of Amsterdam for what he claims is the poor quality of education they received on their course in communication studies.

Jack Weil is claiming E13,613 (Pounds 8,245) in lieu of two years' study costs that went towards the upkeep of his daughters. He has also set up an action group for other parents wishing to claim damages from the university, following a damning report by the Higher Education Inspectorate.

In its report, the inspectorate notes that there are "serious shortcomings" in the course structure and methods of teaching, as well as an insufficient number of teaching staff. Last month it gave the university a final warning about the low standard of education the 1,600 students of communication studies have been receiving.

The university has since set up a task force to implement improvements over the next three months.

A spokesman for the university claimed that Mr Weil's campaign "is not a good way to contribute to the improvement of communication studies".

Jeroen Winckers said: "The University of Amsterdam understands the concern of parents and students after all the publicity. Although the report of the visitation committee contains much criticism ... the report also concludes that students obtain their degree according to academic standards. The warning means that we... need to take steps."

At least one other parent is understood to have entered a claim against the university following the action group's foundation under the motto "no good, money back".

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