Oxford Brookes receives funding for project to help tackle student behaviour and social norms

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

HEFCE logo - funding received for Oxford Brookes pilot

A grant of £25k is to be match-funded by Oxford Brookes as part of a sector-wide £2.45 million in funding for universities and colleges.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has awarded grants to over 60 projects in universities and colleges across the country.

We hope this will help with allowing the whole student body to feel confident in the knowledge that it is acceptable and supported to challenge behaviours of their peers.

Professor Julie McLeod, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience)

Taken from HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund, the grants were issued in response to a report by the Universities UK Harassment Task Force which explored the nature and scale of issues in higher education, and highlighted the need for institutions to respond more effectively.

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

The funding for Oxford Brookes will focus on two key objectives. The first will be the implementation of a pilot ‘social norms’ campaign, which aims to raise the general awareness of Brookes’ students’ behavioural norms and bystander role. The second will be a technical project which seeks to identify the most appropriate mechanisms through which concerns can be reported, recorded and acted upon.

Professor Julie McLeod, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience), commented: “Over recent years in response to concerns about misconduct incidences involving students, many universities have identified the need to ensure that interventions are in place to better identify, and maintain, appropriate ‘social norms’.

“This is something which Oxford Brookes is seeking to build on. It is recognised that there is a need to better understand students’ normative behaviours and evaluate what campaigns can be put in place to change behaviours. We hope this will help with allowing the whole student body to feel confident in the knowledge that it is acceptable and supported to challenge behaviours of their peers.”

HEFCE Chief Executive, Professor Madeleine Atkins, said: “All students should feel safe and supported during their time in higher education. 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."