Student guide to tackling harassment, hate and sexual misconduct

What to expect

Our statement of expectations is a consistent set of standards that universities and colleges should follow to develop and implement effective ways to tackle harassment and sexual misconduct.

It was developed by looking at research, evidence and practice from across the higher education sector as well as through conversations with students, universities and colleges, sector representatives and specialist organisations. 

Statement of expectations for universities and colleges

  1. Every part of the organisation should clearly communicate how they will prevent and respond to all forms of harassment and sexual misconduct and take responsibility for making sure these expectations are met.
  2. Those in charge of running universities and colleges (boards, senate, governors etc.) should be given regular information on what work is taking place, and take responsibility for making sure that work is done effectively.
  3. Universities and colleges should work with their students to develop and evaluate systems, policies and processes for addressing harassment and sexual misconduct.
  4. Training should be provided to students and staff to raise awareness of, and prevent, harassment and sexual misconduct.
  5. It should be clear to students how they can report and disclose incidents.
  6. Universities and colleges should have a fair, clear and accessible approach to responding to reports and disclosures.
  7. Students who are involved in an investigation should have access to appropriate support.
Read our statement of expectations in full

How does the OfS support universities and colleges?

In addition to providing a clear statement of expectations, we are supporting universities and colleges in their work on addressing and preventing harassment and sexual misconduct by:

  • highlighting examples of effective practice
  • funding projects to explore new ways of supporting students
  • sharing research and resources.

Read more about our work on harassment and sexual misconduct.

Published 08 March 2022

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