University policies on gender-based violence, sexual misconduct, violence, bullying and harassment

The request was successful.

Dear Open University,

I am part of a research team at the University of Lincoln looking at policies on gender-based violence in UK universities.

The researchers will analyse existing gender-based violence policies across the UK HE sector. One output of the research will be a user-friendly set of recommendations for practitioners on constructing effective policies, which we trust will be of benefit to your institution and your student communities.

We request that you share with us any and all policies your institution has which address issues of gender-based violence or sexual misconduct, including misconduct among students and between staff and students.

We understand gender-based violence as behaviour or attitudes underpinned by inequitable power relations that hurt, threaten or undermine people because of their (perceived) gender or sexuality. Gender-based violence includes a continuum of behaviours and attitudes both online and offline, such as domestic violence, sexual violence, sexist harassment, and homo/transphobia.

If your university does not have specific gender-based violence and/or sexual misconduct policies, please share your closest relevant policies. Relevant policies include all those which would be used in the event that a member of the university community made a complaint relating to any aspect of gender-based violence (see definition above). If you have any queries about what constitutes a relevant policy, please contact us.

Participants are asked to share relevant policies from their institution in a Word or PDF format.

This project has been assessed by the independent University of Lincoln Research Ethics committee, to protect your interests. The intention of the research is not to ‘name and shame’ institutions, but rather to improve responses to gender-based violence within higher education. Examples of best practice will be shared, but institutions will only be named with permission.

We are aware that you are very busy and greatly appreciate your participation. We hope that the outcomes of this research will benefit the sector, including your institution, and will of course keep you informed about the final report in case it is of interest.

Many thanks,
Nicola Chanamuto

Freedom-of-Information, Open University

Dear Nicola

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information Request.

Your request is receiving our attention and you will hear from us again within 20 working days.

Yours sincerely
Mel Augusto

Miss Mel Augusto | Information Rights Co-Ordinator
Information Rights, University Secretary’s Office
The Open University, Level 5, Charles Pinfold Building, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
Tel: +44 (0) 1908 653994
Email: [Open University request email]

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Freedom-of-Information, Open University

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Dear Nicola

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.

I can confirm that the Open University partly holds information falling within the scope of your request.

The University does not hold a specific policy which addresses issues of gender-based violence or sexual misconduct, including misconduct among students and between staff and students, but the attached policy includes these issues.

Please note however that the inter-action amongst students and between staff and students within the Open University differs to traditional "brick" Universities. Our students do not attend a campus (apart from a small number Research students who are based on our Milton Keynes site). They live in their own homes throughout the UK and in many other countries throughout the world; inter-action is largely through on line mechanisms.

If you have any concerns about the way the University has observed the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act you may apply for your request to be reviewed. Freedom of Information Reviews are considered by the University Secretary or his delegate. Your request must be submitted within 40 working days of receipt of this letter/email. Reviews should be addressed to the above inbox, entitled “FOIA Review”, and should set out the reasons for the review. You will have a further right of appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Regards
Mel Augusto

Miss Mel Augusto | Information Rights Co-Ordinator
Information Rights, University Secretary’s Office
The Open University, Level 5, Charles Pinfold Building, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
Tel: +44 (0) 1908 653994
Email: [Open University request email]

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