UCL News


Zero tolerance towards harassment at UCL

17 February 2016

UCL's most senior staff have recently agreed to implement two bold new measures for combating harassment at the university: Zero tolerance towards sexual harassment During the past year, UCLU has run a highly successful 'Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment' campaign.

UCL small This has entailed departments signing a pledge to never tolerate sexual harassment and to support students and staff who experience it. More than 40 departments have signed the pledge and more than 150 workshops have been delivered to over 2,200 students.

UCL has now agreed to implement a two-year action plan that will commit a larger share of their time and resources to dealing with the issues and making sure all staff and students have access to relevant training.

This will provide information on how to report incidents but also information for staff on how to respond appropriately to reports of harassment. The training will be accompanied by clearer signposting for students in need of the services. Research conducted by NUS has shown 68% of women students have experienced sexual harassment whilst at university, whilst only 10% of students were aware of the procedures for reporting it. 

Anonymous online reporting

Unfortunately, harassment is not limited to sexual harassment. UCL intends to take a firm stand against all forms of inappropriate, intimidating or discriminatory behaviour.

A project team has therefore  been established to explore and develop a proposal for a new anonymous online reporting system. Whilst anonymous reporting means complaints cannot be individually investigated, it will help the university identify problem areas and allow targeted action, such as training, to be taken in areas where we can evidence genuine concern.

This approach has already been established with transformative effect at the University of Manchester. More information and consultation on the proposal will follow later this year.

Taken together, these developments have the potential to ensure all students and staff experience a safe, positive and supportive culture at UCL.