NUS: sexual harassment 'rife' on campus

More than a third of female students have been groped or touched inappropriately while at university, according to a new survey.

September 15, 2014

 

According to the study by the National Union of Students, 37 per cent of women said they had experienced some type of unwelcome sexual advances while studying, while 12 per cent of men reported the same thing, according to the survey of more than 2,000 students.

A quarter of all students said they had received unsolicited sexual comments about their bodies, while 36 per cent had witnessed these comments directed at others.

The survey revealed that “harassment is rife on campus”, said Toni Pearce, NUS president, who added that universities are not doing enough to combat so-called lad culture.

“We still keep hearing from universities that there is no fear, no intimidation, no problem – well this new research says otherwise,” said Ms Pearce.

“Sadly, all of these elements exist in campus life, we know because we hear it from students,” she added.

She accused many universities of “passing the buck” on the issue and said they must acknowledge the problem to help the NUS to confront it.

According to the survey, 60 per cent of respondents said that they were not aware of any university codes of conduct that prohibit or tackle sexual conversations, sexual comments, unwelcome sexual advances, group intimidation and verbal harassment.

Ms Pearce said the NUS was setting up a taskforce to look at the issue of lad culture on campus, calling for a “new deal” for students to ensure campuses were safer and more supportive.

The Lad Culture National Strategy Team will include students, academics, representatives from external groups, such as No More Page 3, and NUS officers.

Laura Bates, the founder of the Everyday Sexism project, which details instances of sexual harassment via Twitter, will act as the team’s ambassador.

Ms Bates said the “normalisation and lack of awareness” about sexual harassment “is a major part of the problem”.

“Students, are experiencing sexism, sexual harassment and assault within the university environment,” she said.

jack.grove@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest