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Taskforce to examine violence against women, harassment and hate crime affecting university students

About the taskforce

The Taskforce was established by Universities UK in November 2015 to examine violence against women, harassment and hate crime affecting university students, with a focus on sexual violence and harassment. The Taskforce consisted of university leaders, student representatives and academic experts. The full list of members of the Taskforce can be seen below.

The Taskforce assessed the evidence, the work that universities are already doing to address these issues and explored what more needs to be done. The Taskforce also reviewed the guidance available to universities on managing situations where a student's behaviour may constitute a criminal offence.

The final report of the Taskforce was published on 21 October 2016. On the basis of published evidence and engagement with universities, experts and specialist organisations, both within and outside the higher education sector, a series of recommendations have been devised to support universities in developing effective strategies to support both prevention and providing an effective response to incidents. Alongside the report, UUK has also published new guidance on how to handle cases where a student has allegedly committed a criminal offence, with specific recommendations in relation to sexual misconduct.

Following the report, recommendations and guidance, UUK will continue its work in this area. This will include the development of a self-assessment survey to support universities to evaluate their approach. This will also provide UUK with information on where further guidance may be required.  UUK will promote the sharing of good practice through an annual conference and the publication of a directory of case-studies.  We also intend to undertake further work to examine staff-to-student sexual harassment.

Reports and submissions

Members of the taskforce

  • Nicola Dandridge (Taskforce Chair), Chief Executive, Universities UK
  • Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor, University of Liverpool (and Chair of the Equality Challenge Unit)
  • Jenny Jenkins, Registrar, University of Bedfordshire (representing AHUA)
  • Ian Coates, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
  • Paul Deemer, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, NHS Employers
  • Sorana Vieru, Vice President (Higher Education), NUS
  • Professor Janice Kay, Provost, University of Exeter
  • Jess Lishak, former Women’s Officer, University of Manchester Students’ Union
  • Maria Lorenzini, Director of Student Experience, Bangor University (representing AMOSSHE)
  • Dr Helen Mott, Consultant
  • Professor David Richardson, Vice-Chancellor, University of East Anglia


Improving student retention 2018

12 Jun 2018, 09:30 - 16:30


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8 May 2018
UUK's Dan Hurley on the wide range of opportunities higher education provides, and what the Office for Students can do to help universities make further progress on social mobility.

'Opportunity for everyone' shows how universities are opening their doors, but they must build on this for faster change

1 May 2018
On the launch of UUK's 'Opportunity for everyone' campaign, Chris Millward, the Director of Fair Access and Participation at the Office for Students, urges all universities to continue making progress.


Universities making progress tackling student sexual misconduct, but more must be done

28 March 2018
UUK has today published a report looking at progress made in tackling sexual misconduct and harassment affecting university students.

Free speech in universities

27 March 2018
UUK reponse to Joint Human Rights Committee report on barriers to freedom of speech in universities.

The team

Fiona Waye

Fiona Waye

Senior Policy Lead - Inclusion, Equality and Diversity
Universities UK