All universities should establish compulsory sexual consent workshops, says leading higher education official

Nicola Dandridge argues that sexual violence, harassment and 'lad culture' are 'serious matters where a zero-tolerance approach is required'

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The Independent Online

All universities should establish compulsory sexual consent workshops to teach students that “no means no”, according to a leading higher education official.

Nicola Dandridge, the chief executive of Universities UK – the body which represents vice-chancellors – argues that sexual violence, harassment and “lad culture” are “serious matters where a zero-tolerance approach is required”.

Her comments come as the Business Secretary Sajid Javid has asked Universities UK to set up a task force  to come up with a code of practice within a year to tackle the problem.

One idea floated in Ms Dandridge’s blog is compulsory consent workshops for all new students – already in place at a number of universities – which will teach respect for women.

Ms Dandridge added:  “Although not a new issue, lad culture does seem to have acquired a particular prominence given the prevalence of social media in young people’s lives.”

Cases which have come to light recently include a company which sent new students a “shaglist”, where they could record details of their sexual conquests while at university.

Nine universities – Oxford, King’s College London, the London School of Economics, Warwick, Leeds, Queen Mary’s London, Sussex, Bradford and Cardiff – have joined a National Union of Students’ project to stamp out harassment and sexual violence.

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