The taskforce met for the first time on Tuesday 17 November 2015. The taskforce,
led by Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK (UUK), has been
established to explore what more can be done to support the higher education sector
to prevent and respond to incidents of violence and sexual harassment against
women, hate crimes and other forms of harassment. It brings together experts from
across the sector with both student and university representatives. A full list of
taskforce members can be accessed via the UUK press release following the first
In attending the meeting, Jo Johnson MP, Minister for Universities and Science,
highlighted the importance government attaches to eradicating violence and
harassment against women across all parts of society. The need to develop practical
recommendations that encourage and allow for action to be taken was of key
importance to the minister, and the group is committed to this objective.
The taskforce agreed to the terms of reference and acknowledged that the
membership was appropriate, with the right mix of expertise and perspectives. It also
agreed that wider stakeholder engagement would be crucial to fulfilling the objectives
of the taskforce.
A substantive part of the first meeting was dedicated to considering the current
evidence on the nature and scale of the problem. The discussion highlighted the
complexity and sensitivity of the issues in hand and the importance of institutions
providing effective support. Taskforce members suggested areas for further focus
The taskforce considered the key themes and challenges highlighted by UUK
member input, which also made evident the great deal of work already underway.
From the evidence gathered so far a number of key themes have begun to emerge,
The taskforce will maintain a focus on developing practical recommendations that
universities and students’ unions can adapt and implement to suit their own context.
Seeking further input from universities, students and key interest and specialist
groups will form a crucial part of the work for the taskforce over the coming months.
To support this process please forward examples of resources and initiatives which
have been successful, case studies or any other information you think would be
helpful to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Response to the work of the taskforce so far has been extremely positive. We hope
that universities and students’ unions across the UK will make the most of this
opportunity to proactively tackle this type of behaviour, which has no place either in
student life or any other part of society.
The second meeting of the taskforce will take place in mid-March 2016