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Invitation to trusteeship rather than treat? Higher Education, human rights and student litigation: A response to Fulford (2020)

Abstract This article argues that, as tutors, we are bound not only by the rules of contract law (i.e., to avoid breaching the terms of that which was agreed to), but also by our duty of care, and the principles of human rights law that protect the right to education. We must strive to avoid negligent acts and any potentially harmful practices or policies. Looking to recent litigation, we are bound also to provide useful, meaningful guidance on how learners might best achieve—and subsequently evidence—high levels of intellectual attainment and wider ‘learning gains.’. The concepts of fairness and equitable treatment are key, especially where universities have agreed to widen access and improve opportunities. With the protection of vulnerable learners increasingly leaning towards the provisions—and promises—of human rights law, a sort of estoppel‐led ‘trusteeship’ (over shared knowledge and learning processes) can perhaps also be inferred.

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