To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many instances of (a) antisemitism, (b) homophobia and (c) islamophobia on university campuses have been reported to his Department in each of the past 12 months.
26 January 2018
The Department for Education does not hold this information, however my department and this government takes all forms of hate crime extremely seriously. There is no place in our society – including within higher education – for hatred or any form of harassment, discrimination or racism.
In September 2015, the government asked Universities UK (UUK) to set up a Harassment Taskforce to consider what more can be done to address harassment and hate crime on campus. The taskforce’s report, ‘Changing the Culture’, published in October 2016, recommended a zero-tolerance approach to harassment and hate crime.
On 27 July 2017 UUK published a directory of case studies detailing the innovative projects universities have developed to address the taskforce’s recommendations. These include Goldsmith’s hate crime reporting centre (case study 11) which is a joint initiative with the local authority in Lewisham and the Metropolitan Police, which provides students and staff with a safe space to report incidents. These are published on UUK’s website: http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/Pages/changing-the-culture-case-studies.aspx. In addition, the Higher Education Funding Council for England has provided £1.8 million for projects to improve responses to hate crime and online harassment on campus.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England is currently working with UUK to test the sector’s response to the taskforce’s recommendations and the full results will be published in spring 2018.