Student guide to tackling harassment, hate and sexual misconduct

Every student should be safe during their time at university or college. This includes protection from harassment and sexual misconduct.

Key facts

  1. Students are more likely to have experienced sexual assault than any other group (Office for National Statistics, 2021). 
  2. Nearly one in three black and Asian students have experienced racial harassment on campus (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2019).
  3. Only one in three students who had experienced racial harassment during the 2018-19 academic year reported it to their university (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2019).
  4. In the past two years there has been a 22 per cent increase of antisemitic incidents reported on campus (Community Security Trust, 2023).
  5. In a 2018 survey, seven per cent of trans students reported being physically attacked by another student or a member of university staff in the last year because of being trans (Stonewall and YouGov, 2018).
  6. In 2018, one in three Muslim students experienced some form of crime or abuse at their place of study in because of their beliefs (National Union of Students, 2018).

There are actions we expect universities and colleges to take to prevent and address harassment and sexual misconduct.

This guide will help you understand:  

  • what you can currently expect from your university or college
  • what to do if those expectations aren't being met 
  • where you can get help if you've experienced harassment or sexual misconduct.

It also includes information on our consultation on a new approach to tackling harassment and sexual misconduct in higher education.

Published 08 March 2022
Last updated 23 February 2023
23 February 2023
New key facts and information about our consultation

Describe your experience of using this website

Improve experience feedback
* *

Thank you for your feedback