A midwifery student who was banned from her hospital placement over her pro-life views has won an apology and settlement from her university.
Julia Rynkiewicz was suspended from her placement after a lecturer at the University of Nottingham reported her involvement with the university’s Students for Life society.
She was subject to a four-month fitness-to-practise investigation which forced her to delay her studies and left her without access to student finance, despite the allegations being eventually dismissed.
I hope this means that no other student will have to experience what I have
Rynkiewicz filed a formal complaint with the university in January and said she was “willing to take this as far as necessary”. The university has now apologised and agreed a settlement.
The student midwife said: “Putting my life on hold because of an unjust investigation was really difficult, both mentally and emotionally.
“The settlement demonstrates that the university’s treatment of me was wrong, and while I’m happy to move on, I hope this means that no other student will have to experience what I have.
“What happened to me risks creating a fear among students to discuss their values and beliefs, but university should be the place where you are invited to do just that.”
A University of Nottingham spokesperson said: “While all universities take fitness-to-practise considerations extremely seriously, the university has offered an apology and settlement to Ms Rynkiewicz and is considering how we might approach such cases differently in future.”
While they stated that the university’s official position is pro-abortion, they added: “Universities should be spaces to debate, discuss and disagree”.
Rynkiewicz was helped by religious liberty charity Alliance Defending Freedom.
Earlier this year, an investigation by the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children revealed that a number of universities in Scotland were found to be censoring pro-life student groups.
The universities of Edinburgh, Stirling, Glasgow and Aberdeen were all highlighted as particularly censorious. The assessment was made after their free speech policies were assessed in light of the Equality Act 2010, where philosophical beliefs – including the sanctity of life – are protected characteristics.