Westminster Higher Education Forum

Priorities for tackling sexual violence and harassment in higher education

Morning, Wednesday, 1st April 2020

Central London

THIS EVENT IS CPD CERTIFIED



This conference will examine the priorities for effectively tackling sexual harassment in UK universities.


The agenda looks at:


  • How universities can develop effective prevention strategies,
  • Where the disciplinary and reporting process can be improved to support victims, and
  • Opportunities for creating partnerships and putting in place coordinated, effective approaches to removing sexual harassment from universities.

Speakers


There will be a keynote address from: Jessica Trahar, Head of Student Welfare and Safeguarding, Office for Students, as well as contributions from Professor Emma Bond, Director of Research and Head of Graduate School, University of Suffolk; Georgina Calvert-Lee, Head of UK Practice and Senior Counsel, McAllister Olivarius; Fay Maxted, Chief Executive Officer, The Survivors Trust and Julie Norris, Partner, Kingsley Napley.


Context for discussion


The seminar will be an opportunity to discuss:


  • Analysis suggesting that reports of sexual assault in universities continue to rise;
  • Advance HE’s Catalyst for change report which evaluated more than 100 pilot schemes designed to tackle sexual assault in universities - finding progress but that universities need to do more in terms of staffing, leadership and the allocation of resources to safeguard students - as well as the subsequent OfS call  to action on training and involving students;
  • Universities UK’s ‘two years on’ evaluation of its Changing the Culture report showing progress on gender-based violence and how universities are addressing challenges  through preventative campaigns, training, and partnerships with specialist organisations and the third sector .

The agenda


  • Policy priorities for safeguarding students in HE;
  • Campus culture and strategies for prevention - awareness campaigns, training and specialist staff, and tackling online harassment;
  • Reviewing the disciplinary process - increasing reporting rates, speed and  transparency in dealing with incidents, and supporting victims and alleged perpetrators;
  • Responding to student complaints;
  • A collaborative approach to tackling sexual violence and harassment - developing partnerships, coordinating investigations and creating a joined-up process for students; and
  • Next steps for improving the HE sector’s approach to sexual harassment.


Keynote Speaker

Jessica Trahar

Head of Student Welfare and Safeguarding, Office for Students

Keynote Speaker

Jessica Trahar

Head of Student Welfare and Safeguarding, Office for Students

Speakers

Dr Rachel Fenton

Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Exeter

Kim Doyle

Joint Chief Executive, LimeCulture

Professor Graham Virgo

Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), Professor of English Private Law, University of Cambridge

Georgina Calvert-Lee

Head of UK Practice and Senior Counsel, McAllister Olivarius

Fay Maxted

Chief Executive Officer, The Survivors Trust

Julie Norris

Partner, Regulatory Team, Kingsley Napley

Professor Emma Bond

Director of Research and Head of Graduate School, University of Suffolk