A FORMER PhD student has issued a writ against Westminster University for damages exceeding Pounds 50,000, claiming that the institution ruined his doctoral hopes. Martin Gabriel issued the writ last Monday after the university told him, in January last year, that his thesis, which took four years to research, required substantial revision. Mr Gabriel appealed subsequently to the chair of the research committee but was rejected. Mr Gabriel claims that the institution gave no prior indication that there could be a problem with his thesis. He claims that the university failed to follow its own PhD regulations and that it wrongly rejected his appeal. The university is to contest the writ.