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Universities: Hate Crime

Department for Education written question – answered on 16th January 2020.

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Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to combat hate crime at universities.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

Any incident of hate crime is unacceptable and we cannot tolerate staff and students being victims of it at our world-leading universities.

Higher education (HE) providers have clear responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010. They should discharge their responsibilities fully and have robust policies and procedures in place to comply with the law, and to investigate and swiftly address incidents reported to them.

In its guidance to the Office for Students (OfS), the government has tasked the OfS to tackle these important issues, including the implementation of Universities UK’s (UUK) Taskforce recommendations. The OfS and its predecessor body allocated £4.7 million for a safeguarding scheme to address harassment and hate crime in HE. On 9 January 2020, the OfS published a consultation on harassment and sexual misconduct in HE. This consultation, which concludes on 27 March 2020, asks for views on how the OfS will regulate harassment, including hate-based and sexual misconduct. The OfS expects providers to have policies, processes and systems in place to effectively address these issues.

Evaluation to date has shown that progress has been made but that there is still more to do. The government will continue to work closely with partners, including UUK and the OfS to support work to address hate crime and harassment in universities.

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