HEFCE is funding 108 projects across the higher education sector to address issues around student safeguarding. The projects focus on tackling sexual violence, harassment and hate crime, whether on campus or online. Our aim through this investment is to provide resources for students, universities and colleges in order to promote better awareness and to improve strategies to tackle these vital and complex issues.
The conference will launch the evaluation programme which will include an overall assessment of HEFCE’s investment into student safeguarding and where the higher education sector is in terms of changing the culture when it reports across the whole programme in 2019.
A key outcome of the programme is to see evidence that students feel safer, have a greater understanding of what constitutes harassment, sexual violence and hate crime and whether they have confidence to spot and report it, particularly on their campus.
Speakers at the conference include Valerie Amos, Director of SOAS, Alison Johns, Chief Executive Designate of Advance HE, and Sarah Lasoye, NUS Women’s Campaign.
- Our investment was a response to the Universities UK report, ‘Changing the culture: Report of the Universities UK Taskforce examining violence against women, harassment and hate crime affecting university students’ (www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/Documents/2016/changing-the-culture.pdf). The report highlighted serious and widespread problems in the higher education sector and made a number of recommendations which will be published in March 2018.
- An outline of the programme and individual projects can be found on HEFCE’s website: www.hefce.ac.uk/funding/safeguarding/
- The safeguarding evaluation programme is being carried out by the Leadership Foundation and Equality Challenge Unit (now merged into a new organisation called Advance HE). The first round of projects are due to complete at the end of March 2018 and submit final reports to HEFCE in May. The evaluation team is aiming to publish a summative evaluation of the round 1 projects in June.
- HEFCE has issued an additional call for funding projects to tackle religious-based hate crime on campus, and we hope to announce the successful projects in late March 2018.