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Universities: Racial Discrimination

Question for Department for Education

UIN 276161, tabled on 11 July 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the article in the Guardian entitled A demeaning environment: stories of racism in UK universities, published 5 July 2019, if he will hold discussions with the Office for Students on their assessment of the scale and nature of racism in UK universities.

Answered on

16 July 2019

There is no place in our society, including within higher education (HE) for hatred or any form of harassment, discrimination or racism.

The government is working closely with the Universities UK (UUK) and the Office for Students (OfS) to support work to address racism and other forms of harassment in HE, including implementation of UUK’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Taskforce’s recommendations.

Ministers and officials in the department meet regularly with the OfS, stakeholders and representative bodies about a range of student experience issues including racism, hate crime and harassment in HE. This includes specific quarterly meetings with the OfS to discuss how to tackle harassment and hate crime, including racism within the sector.

In its ministerial guidance, the government has asked the OfS to support this work and to make campuses places of tolerance for all students, and over £2 million has been invested in projects addressing hatred and harassment in HE.

The government will continue to work closely with the OfS to prioritise tackling of all forms of harassment and hate crime in higher education.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.