Law students hit hardest by Oxford Uni email error revealing worst performers

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By Thomas Connelly on

A fifth of the students identified in an email listing the worst-performers in last term’s exams at an Oxford college are studying law.

The email — sent in error yesterday to students at Oxford University’s University College (Univ) — contains an Excel attachment which names almost 50 students who scored a 2:2 or below in their end of year test. Nine of the affected group were law students, with details of their names, percentage mark and subject shared widely.

The university subsequently attempted to recall the email, asking students to delete it as it “contained inaccuracies”. But by this stage the message had been widely disseminated, and leaked to student newspaper The Tab Oxford.

One of the affected students told The Tab Oxford: “I was pretty gutted after my results last term, but didn’t realise I would be publicly humiliated. I can’t even go into college any more.”

In a quip about the high proportion of law students on the list, the student added:

“I would sue but there are apparently no decent lawyers at Univ.”

Update: 3:15pm — Oxford University has issued the following statement.

Dr Anne Knowland, senior tutor of University College, Oxford, said:

“We can confirm that owing to a clerical error the collection marks of a small number of University College students were accidentally included in an email sent out to students on 13 January. We would like to apologise to all students affected by this inadvertent disclosure for any distress this has caused and reassure them that we are investigating exactly how this happened and are determined to make sure this does not happen again. University College takes the treatment of sensitive data very seriously.”