Past Events

Confronting Harassment and Sexual Misconduct in Universities and Colleges: Towards a 'Whole Institution Approach'

Date:     Thursday 7th December 2023

Time:     10:00am - 2:30pm

Venue:  ONLINE Live Conference


  • Event Abstract
  • Programme
  • Key Speakers
  • Who Should Attend?
  • Marketing Opportunities

According to recent analysis from the Office for National Statistics, students are the occupational group most likely to have experienced sexual assault than any other. In addition to the staggering sexual misconduct figures, the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Inquiry into Racial Harassment in 2019 found that nearly one in four ethnic minority students had experienced racial harassment on campus, with only one in three students reporting it to their university. This harassment and abuse that is experienced by far too many students has a devastating impact on their mental health, well-being and academic performance.

To address these significant and challenging issues, The Office for Students invested £4.7m into the Catalyst Programme, which supported 119 projects to tackle sexual misconduct, harassment and hate crime. In 2021, following the findings from those projects, the Office for Students published a statement of expectations, setting out clear recommendations to tackle all forms of harassment and abuse in further and higher education. Unfortunately, whilst some improvements have been made, a consistent level of protection for students was not delivered from self-regulation alone, prompting the Office for Students to launch their consultation earlier this year, A New Approach to Regulating Harassment and Sexual Misconduct in English Higher Education. The consultation seeks to improve how universities and colleges prevent and address incidents from occurring in their institutions, the conclusions of which are expected to be published in due course. The recent findings of The 1752 Group's Higher Education since #MeToo study, led by Dr Anna Bull, has further highlighted the need for a consistent, sector-wide framework that meets the needs of victims.

This Policy Foresight online live conference offers a timely opportunity for key stakeholders from across the further and higher education landscape to examine the proposals from the Office for Students' consultation exercise to develop a ‘whole institution approach’ that confronts harassment and sexual misconduct. Participants will also hear from university and college leaders about how to develop proactive early intervention frameworks and strengthen victim-centred reporting and disciplinary procedures that fosters a safe, healthy and inclusive environment for all students that is free from any form of harassment, intimidation or sexual misconduct.

Why Attend?

  • Live webinar featuring presentations and panel discussions with a wide range of policymakers, experts and higher and further education leaders
  • Examine the proposals in the Office for Students’ Consultation on A New Approach to Regulating Harassment and Sexual Misconduct as well as the recent Higher Education since #MeToo study
  • Explore how to implement a consistent approach to tackle all forms of harassment and sexual misconduct
  • Interactive Question Time sessions with opportunities to engage with all speakers
  • Learn how to foster a zero-tolerance culture in every institution
  • Analyse best practice from experts to establish a ‘Whole Institution Approach’ that improves reporting, manages incidents effectively and ensures a victim-centred response
  • Share ideas with fellow participants from across the Higher and Further Education sector and beyond
  • On Demand – Exclusive access to speaker presentations and post-event resources

  • Resource - Office for Students: Student Rights and Welfare

    Resource - CHANGING THE CULTURE: Report of the Universities UK Taskforce

    Report - 23rd October 2019: Equality and Human Rights Commission - Tackling racial harassment: universities challenged

    Consultation - 23rd February 2023: Office for Students - Consultation on a new approach to regulating harassment and sexual misconduct in English higher education

    Report - 23rd March 2023: Office for National Statistics - Sexual offences victim characteristics, England and Wales: year ending March 2022

    Report - 22nd June 2023: The 1752 Group - Higher Education After #MeToo: Institutional responses to reports of gender-based violence and harassment

    9:30am

    Delegate Online Login


    10:00am

    Introduction by Webinar Organiser


    10:05am

    Chair's Welcome and Opening Remarks


    10:10am

    Keynote Session:

    Tackling Harassment and Sexual Misconduct in Universities and Colleges

  • The National Context – Understanding the nature and scale of the problem
  • Challenges in handling reports of gender-based violence and harassment
  • Options for taking action without a formal report
  • Balancing GDPR with safety: storing information on disclosures

  • 10:30am

    Keynote Session: Questions and Discussion


    10:50am

    Comfort Break


    11:00am

    Panel Session One:

    Preventing and Responding to Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

  • Driving cultural change – Embedding a zero-tolerance culture on campus that confronts the normalisation of harassment and sexual misconduct
  • Raising awareness of the different types of harassment and abuse
  • Delivering effective training for staff and students including consent and bystander training
  • Removing barriers to reporting – Improving reporting policies, procedures, and systems to make disclosures easier
  • Putting student experience at the heart – Ensuring personal and academic support is tailored to meet the needs of all students including those from underrepresented groups

  • 12:00pm

    Panel Session One: Questions and Discussion


    12:20pm

    Comfort Break


    1:00pm

    Panel Session Two:

    Confronting Harassment and Misconduct through an Institution-Wide Response

  • Embedding a ‘Whole Institution Approach’ – Improving engagement with students, senior leadership, staff, governing bodies and community groups
  • Enhancing interventions - Ensuring an effective, victim-centred response when incidents of harassment and abuse occur
  • Developing your institution’s approach to prevention, victims’ support and incident management
  • Implementing a clear policy for managing personal relationships between students and staff, especially relationships that include relevant members of staff
  • Delivering a consistent response - Improving disciplinary procedures for perpetrators

  • 2:00pm

    Panel Session Two: Questions and Discussion


    2:20pm

    Final Questions and Chair's Summary & Closing Comments


    2:30pm

    End of Online Conference

    *Please note the programme and timings are subject to slight alteration without notice

    1752 Group

    Dr Anna Bull, Director of Research, The 1752 Group


    OIA_HE

    Jo Nuckley, Head of the Outreach and Insight Team, Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education


    AMOSSHE

    Ian Munton, Member, Association of Managers of Student Services in Higher Education (AMOSSHE); Director of Student Services, Aberystwyth University


    GuildHE

    Dr Kate Wicklow, Policy Director (Insight, Access & Student Experience), GuildHE


    NUS

    Nehaal Bajwa, Vice President of Liberation and Equality, National Union of Students (NUS)


    Loughborough University

    Lisa Brooks-Lewis, Social Impact and Inclusivity Manager, Loughborough University


    NTU

    Katrina Daoud, Wellbeing Team Leader – Prevention and Development, Student Support Services, Nottingham Trent University


    HEPI

    Rose Stephenson (Chair & Moderator), Director of Policy and Advocacy, Higher Education Policy Institute


    • Representatives from all UK Universities & FE Colleges
    • Directors of Compliance
    • Vice-Chancellors & Deputy Vice-Chancellors
    • Principals & Vice Principals
    • University & College Administrators
    • Heads of Student Experience
    • Heads of Teaching & Learning
    • Directors of Student Services
    • Deputy Heads of Student Services
    • Student Service Managers
    • Heads of Student Engagement
    • Heads of Student Support
    • Heads of Student Welfare
    • Welfare Officers & Advisors
    • Heads of Student Safeguarding
    • Student Safeguarding Officers
    • Heads of Security
    • Campus Security Officers
    • Accommodation Officers
    • Halls of Residence Managers
    • Heads of Campus & Occupational Services
    • Heads of Student Conduct & Appeals
    • Heads of Counselling Services
    • Mental Health & Wellbeing Leads
    • Directors of Human Resources
    • Deputy Heads of Human Resources
    • Heads of Legal Services
    • Directors of Student Achievement
    • Associate Deans
    • Associate Professors
    • Student Advisers & Careers Advisers
    • Equal Opportunities Officers
    • Equality & Diversity Practitioners
    • Learning and Development Advisors
    • Compliance & Audit
    • Student Union Officers & Welfare Bodies
    • Community Engagement Officers
    • Chaplains & Faith Leaders
    • Local Authorities
    • Government Departments
    • The Voluntary Sector
    • Private Education Providers
    • Academics and Researchers

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