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Extra cash to step up safety for students and staff

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Students, academics and staff have secured an extra £40,000 to make it even safer to study and work at Brunel.

The money comes from £2.45 million put out nationally to strengthen safeguarding against sexual violence across university campuses.

It follows calls from Universities UK for a zero-tolerance culture across universities with centralised reporting systems supported by well-trained staff.

Brunel won one of 60 grants from The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)’s Catalyst Fund aimed at tackling violence against women, harassment and hate crime.

“We’re really pleased to get funding to develop new initiatives and to build on our current work to keep Brunel students safer on and off campus,” said Jilly Court, Brunel’s Academic Registrar & Director of Student Services.

“We look forward to working with the Union of Brunel Students and academic colleagues to put in place measures to improve safety, how to report incidents, provide support and to educate students and staff about preventing sexual violence and harassment.”

Brunel’s students and academics will work side by side to shape a set of improvements including a badge scheme for pubs and bars to show they meet safety standards for reporting sexual violence and harassment. The BE SAFE: ‘Safe Night Out’ campaign is planned to be rolled out on campus and across the town helped by Uxbridge (LB Hillingdon) Safer Communities Partnership and local police.

“All students should feel safe and supported during their time in higher education,” said HEFCE Chief Executive, Professor Madeleine Atkins, announcing the funding. “Universities and colleges are working hard to tackle issues of sexual harassment and violence on campus, but there is more to be done. Their determination and commitment is evident in the overwhelmingly positive response to HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund call.”