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Regulator welcomes university wide response to sexual assault

1 August 2017

Media Release

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) has welcomed a national initiative that has seen all 39 of Australia’s public universities join together to tackle the issue of sexual assault and harassment.

The initiative, Respect. Now. Always. has brought together Australia’s universities and the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in an effort to build environments that better protect students from sexual assault and harassment in the future, and support those already affected.

TEQSA chief executive Anthony McClaran said that the release of today’s survey by the AHRC, the largest survey on sexual assault and harassment in student communities, will allow universities to offer better support services and more effective policies to ensure students are better protected moving forward.

“The new Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) – a legislative framework that all higher education providers must meet – requires providers to offer students a safe environment,” said Mr McClaran.

“As part of a suite of guidance notes on implementing the Threshold Standards, TEQSA has released material aimed at helping all higher education providers understand their responsibilities when it comes to providing access to student support services and fostering a safe environment.”

Mr McClaran also noted that while TEQSA’s guidance notes – and requirements around notifying the regulator of ongoing sexual assault or harassment issues – are important aspects of addressing the issue, it was encouraging to see Australia’s universities working together to establish safe environments and the world’s best practice in addressing sexual assault and harassment.

More information

Media enquiries

  • Raphael May, Assistant Director Communications: email raphael.may [at] teqsa.gov.au or call 0437 143 012
  • Elisabeth Tarica, Media Advisor: email elisabeth.tarica [at] teqsa.gov.au or call 0417 507 269. NOTE: Works Thursdays and Fridays.