Damien Shannon, 26, applied to Oxford University for a post-graduate course but had his place withdrawn due to financial reasons.

Every applicant at Oxford is required to provide evidence to show that they can cover expenses of £12,900.

Shannon felt that this was an unfair requirement and claimed that St Hugh’s College was discriminating against poorer students. He sued the college claiming that the financial rule breaches the Human Rights Act and that it should be removed.

The defence of the College is that the financial rule protects them from drop-outs and helps the students themselves by ensuring they will have the money needed to live on.

Shannon however says that he calculated that he would have been able to live comfortably on the student loan he was entitled to and believed that the figure set by the University was unobtainable for most people.

Oxford University have said that they are constantly working to prevent discrimination and their website says, “The University will work to remove any barriers which might deter people of the highest potential and ability from applying to Oxford, either as staff or students.”

In court, judgement was reserved until a later date which is yet to be specified. Spokespersons from the University have defended its actions, saying that many other institutions include financial tests in their application process. However, Jane Sherwood, of Oxford’s press office has now apologised for stating this in court as it is inaccurate.