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Thursday, September 05, 2019

Universities urged to act against online harassment | UNITED KINGDOM - University World News

Universities UK, the vice-chancellors’ body in the United Kingdom, has urged universities to take action against online harassment and bullying of students and staff, as University World News reports.

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In new guidance published on 2 September, it recommended that universities move accountability for tackling online harassment to the senior leadership team and involve students, students’ unions, academics and all staff in the development, implementation and assessment of initiatives to address the problem.

Professor Debra Humphris, chair of Universities UK’s Student Policy Network and vice-chancellor of the University of Brighton, said: “A sustained commitment to cultural change by university leaders is vital if we want to ensure that our universities are safe and positive places to live, work and study.”

The new guidance, Changing the Culture: Tackling online harassment and promoting online welfare, has been published as an extension of Universities UK’s work to help universities tackle harassment, hate crime and gender-based violence... 

Dr Emma Short, director of the National Centre for Cyberstalking Research at the University of Bedfordshire and a contributor to the guidance, said: “Universities should not assume that students always recognise abusive online behaviour or feel equipped to respond to it. There is a clear responsibility to safeguard students both from abuse and from the perpetration of abuse through a lack of awareness."

Source: University World News