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Office for Students responds to the Equality and Human Rights Commission report on racial harassment

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‘The findings from the Equality and Human Rights Commission are deeply troubling and show that universities have a long way to go to ensure that all students are safe on campus.

‘It is a particular concern that many students do not feel confident in reporting incidents of racial harassment and have low confidence in their complaints being dealt with. That almost half of universities believe that every incident of racial harassment against their students was reported indicates a worrying complacency. Consequently, too many students are not getting the support they need if they suffer abuse and discrimination, and universities are not dealing effectively with the harassment that is taking place. This is unacceptable.

‘We have funded 119 projects in universities and colleges across the country with £4.7 million to tackle hate crime, as well as online harassment and sexual misconduct. While this funding sparked positive change across a number of institutions, there is much more to be done.

‘We will shortly be launching a consultation setting out our expectations of all higher education providers as to how they should be preventing and addressing hate crime, harassment and sexual misconduct. This will inform our approach as a regulator and ensure we take decisive and effective action where necessary.’

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