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University of Kent faces £750,000 age discrimination claim from 60-year-old lecturer Stephen Games

Stephen Games has accused the university of ageism
Stephen Games has accused the university of ageism

A lecturer has launched a £750,000 ageism claim against the University of Kent after he failed to secure a job in its architecture department.

Stephen Games, 60, told an employment tribunal the university tailored the job specification towards younger candidates with PhDs, while architectural students of his generation rarely went on to do doctorates.

He told the hearing in Ashford it was only since 1986 that architecture students were encouraged to pursue PhDs.

His financial claim of £750,000 is based upon him working for another 15 years with the possibility of promotions.

Speaking after the two-day hearing, Mr Games said: "I have told the university that I don't want the money, I want the job.

"There is no reason why I shouldn't go on working until I am 75, but because I was making a claim through the employment tribunal I was forced to monterise the amount. But it's not about the money, it's about the job."

Mr Games, who lives in Muswell Hill, north London, works as an hourly paid lecturer at the university's Kent School of Architecture and applied to take on a full-time role.

He told the hearing the job specification could have stressed "the qualities of the candidate" rather than the candidate's certificate.

University of Kent barrister Deshpal Panesar said Mr Games had enough time in his 30-year degree to obtain a doctorate as others in his age group had done.

The walkouts will begin with five days of strikes on Thursday February 22
The walkouts will begin with five days of strikes on Thursday February 22

The university said that if requiring a PhD in the subject area were discriminatory, it was "material" to the Kent School of Architecture's future strategy of becoming both a teaching and research body.

Mr Panesar added Mr Games's lack of a PhD was one reason for him not securing the job, but not the only one.

University spokesman Katie Scoggins refused to comment about the hearing.

The tribunal panel is considering the evidence and will announce the result later.

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