Insight event: Improving student lives

This event explored the role of universities and colleges in tackling hate crime, harassment and mental health in higher education.

University students in tutorial

All students should enjoy a safe and fulfilling experience in higher education, with the support they need to overcome challenges. Mental ill-health is one of the most significant factors affecting student wellbeing, alongside incidents of prejudice, harassment and hate crime.

The second in our series of Insight events considered the role of universities and colleges in the student experience, focusing on these challenging issues.

The event brought together experts from across higher education and beyond to discuss examples of positive change as well as highlighting areas for development. 

Discussions focused on two themes:

Mental health: a campus or community challenge?

Chair: Katie Tyrrell, PhD student with research interests in applied psychology, including mental health and cyberpsychology.


  • Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind
  • Professor Mary Stuart, Vice-Chancellor of Lincoln University
  • Rosie Tressler, Chief Executive of Student Minds
  • Professor Peter Francis, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Northumbria University.

Hate and harassment: how do we stop it?

Chair: Smita Jamdar, Partner and Head of Education at law firm Shakespeare Martineau.


  • Dr Ann Olivarius, one of the most influential people in the history of Title IX, the US anti-discrimination law
  • Professor Osama Khan, Associate Dean at the University of Surrey
  • Roisin Wood, Chief Executive of Kick it Out, a campaigning organisation challenging discrimination and encouraging equality in football
  • Piers Wilkinson, Disabled Students’ Officer at the NUS.

The event included an opportunity to network with a range of organisations, groups and higher education providers with innovative work in these areas.

This event was open to anyone with an interest in mental health, harassment and hate crime in higher education but especially those with a strategic responsibility for these issues within a higher education provider.

Students, charities and student support service staff were also welcome to attend.

If you have any questions about this event, please contact us at [email protected].

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