More than 40 universities and colleges in England have been awarded funding totalling £1.8 million from HEFCE to improve responses to hate crime and online harassment on campus.
The funding will support a range of projects focused on strategic and sustainable interventions to encourage greater student engagement and collaboration, and to embed more effective reporting systems for hate crime and harassment.
The projects have been developed with students, who will have pivotal roles in their delivery. They cover a wide range of activity, including training and awareness-raising, digital innovation, and new approaches to prevention and reporting.
Hate crime of any kind has no place in our society or on our campuses, and we expect universities to take a zero-tolerance approach to this kind of harassment, whether it takes place online or in person
The funding, from the second phase of HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund was awarded following a report by the Universities UK Harassment Task Force. The report explored the nature and scale of the issue in higher education, and highlighted a need for institutions to respond more effectively.
The first phase of investment was launched in March this year, with 63 projects sharing £2.45 million from HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund to address sexual harassment.
Grants were awarded in this second round to a diverse range of HEFCE-funded universities and further education colleges.
The Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Jo Johnson, said: “Hate crime of any kind has no place in our society or on our campuses, and we expect universities to take a zero-tolerance approach to this kind of harassment, whether it takes place online or in person.
“I am pleased to see HEFCE supporting the important work of the Universities UK Taskforce, and I am hugely encouraged to see universities working closely with students to develop different approaches to tackling this important issue.”
Universities and colleges are making progress in tackling the issues of hate crime and online harassment on campus, but there is more to be done
HEFCE Chief Executive, Professor Madeleine Atkins, added: “All students should feel safe and supported during their time in higher education. Universities and colleges are making progress in tackling the issues of hate crime and online harassment on campus, but there is more to be done.
‘We are delighted to be supporting a range of innovative projects, and we will be looking to share good practice and evidence of successful outcomes over the coming months.’