A new independent evaluation by Advance HE shows that good progress has been made in tackling sexual harassment and hate crime in English universities at those institutions awarded funding as part of a large-scale programme. The evaluation praises those projects which have actively engaged students, with 90 per cent of those universities and other higher education providers who received funding agreeing that student involvement had helped improve the projects.
The evaluation, carried out by Helen Baird, Senior Adviser at Advance HE, looked at the impact of 108 projects awarded a total of £4.4 million since 2016 to tackle hate crime and sexual violence and harassment at a total of 84 universities and colleges. The evaluation reports:
- an increase in the reporting of incidents and evidence of a reduction in tolerance of hate crime
- the positive impact of hiring specialist staff to support students facing harassment or violence
- greater evidence of partnership working – with both students and external organisations - to tackle these issues.
Alison Johns, Chief Executive at Advance HE said:
'All students deserve to feel safe on or off campus, which is why we are pleased to be involved with Catalyst-funded projects as the independent evaluator.
'We welcome the findings of the report which help to address sexual misconduct, hate crime and online harassment. There is a clear need for continued senior leadership and governance to protect students and tackle this unacceptable anti-social behaviour both within higher education institutions and the sector as a whole.'