OIA welcomes EHRC report on tackling racial harassment in universities

We welcome the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s work in this important area.

Any student who encounters racial harassment at university needs to have their concerns taken seriously and dealt with sensitively and fairly. Our good practice guidance is intended to support all the higher education providers that are members of our Scheme in designing good complaints processes and handling complaints effectively. We are pleased that the EHRC has recognised the value of the guidance we publish, and the report’s recommendations around complaints processes fits well with our own approach and guidance.

Felicity Mitchell, Independent Adjudicator said:

“It’s essential that all students feel welcome at their higher education provider and can fulfil their potential. This needs a truly inclusive learning environment and an open and supportive culture. It can be very difficult for a student who has experienced harassing behaviour to make a complaint. It is important for providers to make it as easy as possible for students to raise sensitive issues and to support them effectively when they do. We will continue to share learning from the complaints we see, working with the sector to help make this a reality for any student who is experiencing harassment.”


Notes for editors

For further information please contact Sarah Liddell, Head of Leadership Office, mediarelations@oiahe.org.uk, 0118 959 9813.

  1. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) is the independent student complaints ombuds for higher education in England and Wales. It is the designated operator of the student complaints’ scheme under the Higher Education Act 2004.
  2. Our Good Practice Framework provides operational guidance to support higher education providers in England and Wales in designing complaints and appeals processes and handling individual complaints. The Framework sets out overriding principles including accessibility, fairness and timeliness. Further information can be found on our website.
  3. The Good Practice Framework is one element of the OIA’s good practice work. We also provide guidance through a range of webinars, podcasts, workshops and visits. Learn more about our upcoming outreach programme. Our Briefing Note on complaints involving sexual misconduct and harassment also provides relevant guidance.