Funding awarded to University to maximise safety for students

14 March 2017

The University of Derby has been awarded £25,000 from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to support student safeguarding on campus.

£2.45 million from HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund has been awarded to over 60 universities and colleges across the country.

The grants were issued in response to a report by the Universities UK Harassment Task Force which explored the nature and scale of the problem in higher education, and highlighted the need for institutions to respond more effectively.

As part of the project the University will be working closely with local charities and statutory organisations to provide training for its staff in order to support students further and ensure best practice on campus.

UoD Kedleston Campus

The projects have been developed with students, who will have pivotal roles in their delivery. They cover a wide range of activities, including training and awareness raising, digital innovation, and new approaches to prevention and reporting.

Joanne Jones, Student Wellbeing Manager at the University of Derby, said: “Student safety has always been paramount to us. This funding will enable us to influence culture, create more open conversations and empower students and staff to respond to issues concerning student safeguarding, so we can establish an even safer and more supportive community at Derby.”

HEFCE Chief Executive, Professor Madeleine Atkins, said: “All students should feel safe and supported during their time in higher education. Universities and colleges are working hard to tackle issues of sexual harassment and violence on campus, but there is more to be done. Their determination and commitment is evident in the overwhelmingly positive response to HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund call.

“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."

Universities Minister Jo Johnson said: “We take any form of violence and sexual harassment extremely seriously, and expect universities to take a zero-tolerance approach.

“The interest and response to HEFCE’s fund has been hugely encouraging. The number of projects announced and the support shown reinforces the willingness of universities, across the country, to support staff and students in providing safe and secure campuses and I look forward to seeing the impact of these projects in due course.”