Tackling religion or belief-related harassment and hate incidents: a guide for higher education providers
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AbstractHigher education is not just a context for formal, curricula-based learning. Students also learn from their wider university experiences, as they meet and interact with people from different backgrounds, beliefs and values. The university and college experience helps students become people who respect the social diversity around them and thrive in religiously diverse and multicultural environments. Higher education providers have a duty to provide safe and secure environments for formal and informal learning. An important aspect of this is to act proactively in order, as far as possible, to prevent harassment and hate incidents and to provide mechanisms for dealing with them if they occur. This guidance document focuses specifically on religion or belief-related harassment and hatred and is informed by the ‘Tackling religion-based hate crime on the multi-faith campus’ project, carried out at Coventry University as one of 11 projects funded by the Office for Students (OfS) within its Catalyst initiative to tackle religion-based hate crime and support student safety and wellbeing. This guidance was developed in consultation with the other 10 projects, Advance HE (the Higher Education sector charitable body) and the Church of England’s Education Office (with expertise and responsibility for a large number of university chaplains). The guidance helps to unpack the sometimes complex terminologies, categories and legal distinctions relevant to work in this area. It offers advice on how higher education providers can set up and promote an effective reporting system for incidents of religion or belief-harassment and hate. This can then inform institutional action and/or referral to external agencies such as the police. It offers an example that higher education providers can interpret and apply in ways that suit their contexts.
CitationAune, K., Cheruvallil-Contractor, S., Osmond, J., Peacock, L., Weller, P. (2020). ‘Tackling religion or belief-related harassment and hate incidents: a guide for higher education providers’. Coventry: Coventry University.
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