No place for sexual assault in higher education
TEQSA has been engaging with the higher education sector to establish a clear picture of what university and non-university higher education providers are doing to tackle the issue of sexual assault and harassment.
Having previously written to all universities, the agency has also asked non-university higher education providers to outline how they are managing risks regarding sexual assault and sexual harassment by the end of March.
TEQSA CEO, Anthony McClaran, said higher education providers are expected to do everything they can to prevent abuse from occurring, to build a culture of respect, to work with relevant agencies, to support survivors of abuse and hold perpetrators to account.
"The Higher Education Standards Framework is very clear – all higher education providers are required to foster a safe learning environment for students and TEQSA is taking action to ensure this is the case", said Mr McClaran.
The agency has recently released an updated version of its guidance material regarding student wellbeing and safety which has been developed with input from the sector and advocacy groups.
This consultation process has ensured the resource is fit for purpose, and clearly outlines provider’s responsibilities to foster a safe environment in all areas of their operations – including at affiliated residences and university colleges.
Recent media reports of hazing and initiation rituals have led TEQSA to contact a number of universities, requesting information regarding what actions they are taking in response to the reports.
TEQSA will continue to field complaints regarding sexual assault and harassment. Any complaint received is thoroughly investigated by the agency who will work with the complainant and higher education provider to resolve the complaint through the consistent and fair application of policies and procedures.
- View Guidance Note: Wellbeing and Safety
- View On Safe Ground: A Good Practice Guide for Australian Universities.
Raphael May, Assistant Director, Communications: raphael.may [at] teqsa.gov.au, 0437 143 012 or (03) 8306 2536.