Covid-19 (coronavirus): UCU has produced advice for members. Find more information and updates here.

Call for more robust approach to sexual harassment and hate crime on campus

21 October 2016 | last updated: 24 October 2016

Universities must do more to combat violence against women, harassment and hate crime, says a report released today.

The report, published by Universities UK and based on the experiences of students and staff, calls for a much more robust and coherent approach within universities and for them to share initiatives that are proven to work.

UCU said the report was a timely reminder for all universities to revisit policies in these areas and prioritise work that keeps staff and students safe. The union said areas such as online abuse needed urgent attention.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'We welcome the call for every university to make tackling violence against women, harassment and hate crime a top priority.

'Universities need to have a coherent strategy which is clearly visible and accessible across the entire institution. When they get it right, universities should share those initiatives with other institutions.

'It is so important that students and staff feel safe and are able to focus on their studies and their jobs, free from the terrible debilitating stress that experiences of harassment or violence cause. 

'Given the new forms of harassment and hate-crime, this review is very timely as is the proposed guidance for universities dealing with disciplinary issues which also constitute a criminal offence.'