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University receives share of funding to help prevent sexual harassment across UK campuses

Buckinghamshire New University has successfully secured £49,000 from the Higher Education Funding for Council (HEFCE) to help prevent sexual violence and harassment on campus.Never-OK-new

The 'NeverOK: Sexual Harassment, Assault and Violence on Campus Intervention Project' is one of 60 initiatives to be awarded grants totalling £2.45 million from HEFCE's Catalyst Fund to tackle violence against women, harassment and hate crime. It follows calls from Universities UK for a zero-tolerance culture across universities.

University staff and academics will work in partnership with Bucks Students' Union on campaigns to raise awareness and highlight the support that is available to students, backed up by a new training programme for students and staff. 

Ruth Gunstone, Director of Student Services at Bucks New University, said: "We are delighted to receive this funding which provides an exciting opportunity to embark on new university-wide projects to ensure the continued safety and security of our students. This year-long project gives us a valuable opportunity to share best practice across the sector and as a consequence make a real and lasting difference to universities across the UK.

"We will also be engaging with our students across a range of live briefs designed to bring a fresh perspectives to this important topic which will be presented at a symposium in May 2018."

Jenny Wade, Vice President Education & Welfare at Bucks Students' Union, said: "We are thrilled to have been successful with this grant and will work together with the University to raise awareness and develop training to make our campuses even safer for students. Our #NeverOK campaign has run successfully over the past two years and we hope this funding will encourage more students to get involved."

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.