Joint statement by: AVA (Against Violence and Abuse), Universities UK and National Union of Students (NUS) on the launch of a:
Vice-Chancellor’s Toolkit: a toolkit for vice-chancellors, principals and senior leaders, tackling sexual misconduct, harassment and hate incidents in higher education.
National charity AVA (Against Violence and Abuse), Universities UK and the National Union of Students are today [9th December 2021] launching a new toolkit to support vice chancellors and senior leaders to combat sexual misconduct, harassment and all forms of hate at university.
The toolkit shares advice and insights from leading principals and vice chancellors, promising practice from universities, and practical steps senior leaders can take to improve the safety of university students and staff.
The new toolkit forms part of a suite of new resources for universities published today to mark the United Nations 16 Days of Action Against Gender-Based Violence.
The toolkit, online tool and learning resources are available on the AVA website at www.avaproject.org.uk/combatmisconduct. For more information about AVA’s work with universities, contact AVA at email@example.com
The toolkit was produced within the framework of Combat Misconduct, a three-year project led by AVA in partnership with UUK and NUS, and funded by the Rosa Justice and Equality Fund. It builds on previous work to improve responses to harassment and misconduct in the higher education sector, including the Hidden Marks research by the NUS and the Universities UK Changing the Culture Taskforce.
In addition to the toolkit, we’re also launching an Impact Matrix, an online tool that will help Universities to measure their progress tackling sexual misconduct.
Donna Covey CBE, CEO at AVA, said:
“At AVA, we are delighted that funding from Rosa and our partnership with UUK and NUS has allowed us to take the lessons of our award-winning whole school approach to healthy relationships and apply them to the higher education sector. Senior leaders are at the heart of effective change, and we welcome the passion and commitment to change of the senior leaders interviewed in creating this toolkit. It is through campaigners and leaders working side by side, with different perspectives on a common goal, that we can deliver real change and make our universities a safe place for everyone, free of sexual misconduct and other forms of hate, abuse and harassment.”
Professor Steve West, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of UWE Bristol said:
“It is a priority for UK universities to tackle all forms of sexual misconduct, harassment and hate and there is a responsibility on our leaders to ensure everything possible is done within their institutions to address this wider societal issue. This toolkit provides an important resource in helping leaders to identify, embed and improve the strategic actions required to positively shift the dial in universities’ culture. This culture must be shaped by everyone on campus and this helpful work supports vice chancellors to review their institutional approach and how it can be further improved both with the support of, and for the benefit of, the entire university community.”
Sara Khan, Vice President Liberation and Equality at NUS UK, said:
“We welcome this toolkit as a practical, necessary, and urgent resource for leaders ready to change the cultures of universities not only on their doorstep, but nationwide. This toolkit, teamed with the work of senior leaders, university staff and student activists across the country will set a new precedent for universities, student wellbeing and experience. Collectively, we can make universities a safe place for everyone, free of sexual misconduct and other forms of hate, abuse, and harassment.”