According to the latest media reports "Sexual harassment, misconduct and gender violence by university staff across the UK are at epidemic levels." As stated by the Guardian report, Freedom of Information requests sent to 120 universities revealed that students in UK universities made such allegations at least 169 times against the academic and non-academic staff from 2011-12 to 2016-17.
Colleagues also made about 12 allegations against the staff members.
It was also revealed that victims of sexual harassment were repeatedly persuaded from making official complaints. In some other cases the victims were told either to withdraw their allegations or settle for an informal resolution.
Many victims told that they never filed any complaint against the incident of sexual harassment out of the fear for their education and careers. What this suggests is that the scale of the problem of sexual harassment is much greater than what is revealed by the numbers.
According to the reports "Oxford University reported the highest number of allegations against staff by students, with 11 received by its central administration and 10 by colleges."
It is followed by the following universities:
- Nottingham with 10
- Edinburgh (9)
- University of the Arts London (UAL) and Essex (7 each)
- Cambridge (6)
Only 5 universities confirmed that they stood by their student's side.
Universities like Goldsmiths, University of London, which are criticized for using non-disclosure agreement in settlements, paid the most - 192,146 pounds followed by UAL, which gave 64,000 ponds to two students and an undisclosed amount to a staff member for withdrawing the allegation of sexual harassment against the colleague.
A junior female staff member at the university in southern England said "she tried to raise concerns about sexual harassment in her department for five years but no manager she contacted had taken action."
A graduate student who was sexually assaulted by a senior academic told the daily that her university in southern England pressured her to drop her complaint.