Pounds 35,000 pay-out

October 23, 1998

Nottingham University has apologised after a four-year dispute with Romanian research student Manuella Antoniu, and has reached a settlement worth around Pounds 35,000, writes Phil Baty.

The university confirmed this week that it had "concluded a settlement of a long-running dispute" with Ms Antoniu, who began a PhD at the school of architecture in 1994, with a graduate teaching assistantship for funding.

Ms Antoniu alleged that the university took her on to the PhD programme under "false pretences", as her PhD work was dependent on a programme that the university could not provide.

In January 1995, in response to her complaints, the university conceded their provision fell short of the required standards, said Ms Antoniu. But a settlement was not reached until August this year.

"The university has apologised to Ms Antoniu for the problems that arose," said Philip Dalling, head of public affairs, this week.

Ms Antoniu had been accepted to do a multi-disciplinary programme in architectural studies and critical studies. But there had been no framework for coordination between the separate departments, Ms Antoniu said. She demanded that she be funded to study elsewhere.

Ms Antoniu was able to transfer her PhD programme to the Architectural Association in London, but was dependent on the earnings from the teaching assistantship at Nottingham, understood to be worth about Pounds 8,000 a year.

In August, Nottingham offered her a settlement, which included a gagging clause. She declined to accept the gagging clause and the university backed down.

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