The University of Leeds has partnered with impact software developer, Culture Shift, to offer over 30,000 students access to its reporting platform*.
Building on existing work in this area, the Russell Group University has rolled out the platform to give students and university employees opportunities for reporting experiences of violence, abuse, bullying, harassment, sexual misconduct and all forms of discrimination, including hate crimes and incidents. Culture Shift’s online reporting platform replaces an existing disclosure mechanism, synthesising reporting and student support in one place.
According to research from the charity Brook and the student database Dig-In, over half (56%) of all students and recent graduates at UK universities have experienced unwelcomed sexual behaviour whilst studying, including touching, explicit messages, catcalling and being forced into sex or sexual acts**. Overall, less than one in ten (8%) said they reported these incidents to either the police or their university.
Chris Warrington, Head of Student Support at the University of Leeds, said:
“The implementation of the platform represents a step change in our approach to addressing this vitally important issue. Building on previous work across the University and Leeds University Union, the new system provides a great opportunity for the University to work with students to support a positive and inclusive environment.”
The online platform, which is available across the University of Leeds, will provide students with a safe space to disclose incidents they either experience or witness – anonymously or openly, and seek support if they wish to do so.
Gemma McCall, CEO of Culture Shift, added:
“The University of Leeds is one of the biggest universities in the UK and we’re delighted to be working with them to continue the work they are doing to stamp out problematic behaviour across their campus.
“The partnership builds on the amazing work already being done across the institution to protect its students. Through this partnership we aim to create a safe environment where students feel empowered to speak openly about their experiences of problematic behaviour, whether they themselves have experienced such behaviour or witnessed it.”