Thursday 28 October 2021
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HomePoliticsWorldOxford, Exeter most ignominious universities for rape

Oxford, Exeter most ignominious universities for rape

While reputed as better institutions for academic pursuit, universities like Oxford cannot neglect rampant sexual harassment on the campuses


Oxford and Exeter universities are at the top of a ‘rape culture’ league table compiled from more than 1,000 testimonies from students, reported foreign media recently. The “Everyone’s Invited” website, which publishes accounts of sexual abuse and harassment, released the data earlier this week to highlight the problem on campuses.

The survey found that rape ‘culture’ was “endemic” at the said universities. The report praised the ‘courage’ of young women who had come forward to share their stories.

The website released a list of 17 universities mentioned in more than five testimonies, almost all of which were in the elite Russell Group. Exeter was at the top, with 65 students complaining against it.

Oxford University occupied the unenviable second position. As many as 57 students complained against it. The UNiversities of Edinburgh and Leeds were mentioned 53 times each. 

Others in the list were Manchester, York, Durham, Imperial College, King’s College, the London School of Economics, University College London, Queen’s Belfast, Bristol, Cambridge, Portsmouth, Nottingham and Nottingham Trent.

A website spokesman said, “We are encouraged that university students have found the confidence to come forward and share their testimonies. Many people find that the act of sharing their story helps them in many ways. From the testimonies it is clear that rape culture is endemic on university campuses across the UK.”

The website released a list of all 108 universities mentioned at least once. It includes most UK institutions as well as some abroad. 

The surveyors received 1,035 new testimonies from students in one week.

This report comes after elite private schools including Westminster, St Paul’s, Eton, Dulwich College, Latymer Upper, Highgate and King’s College, Wimbledon and state schools such as The London Oratory were named in 12,000 anonymous testimonies on the website. 

Some have called in police to investigate the claims of rape and sexual abuse and harassment. The Government has instructed Ofsted to conduct an emergency review of schools’ safeguarding procedures.

The website spokesman said: “We want to continue to expose the prevalence of rape culture across all of society.”

One testimony from an Oxford student described how, after a party in 2020, a housemate took advantage of her. “I went to my room, and he came in and started kissing me,” she said.

‘He started to have sex with me and I quickly sobered up. I asked him to stop and he ignored me. I spent the entire time crying and he only left when another housemate came to check on me.’

A Russell Group spokesman said: ‘No student should feel unsafe or have to tolerate harassment or sexual misconduct. Our universities take this issue incredibly seriously and provide a range of support to help students feel safe. Where a crime has been committed it should be reported to the police.’

A University of Exeter spokesman said: ‘We have made it clear to all members of our community that we have zero tolerance for sexual harassment, abuse or assault, and that criminal or disciplinary proceedings will be brought against those who commit these offences.’

More than 1,000 testimonies were sent in to Everyone’s Invited in one week. As many as 86 British universities were named, ITV reports. Those without a number had five submissions or less:

University of Exeter: 65

University of Oxford: 57

University of Edinburgh: 53

University of Leeds: 53

UCL: 48

Durham University: 41

University of York: 40

University of Manchester: 38

Bristol University: 37

University of Cambridge: 36

Nottingham Trent: 32

Nottingham University: 30

Portsmouth University: 30

Kings College London: 28

London School of Economics: 26

Imperial: 25

Queens University Belfast: 15

Aberdeen University

Arts University Bournemouth

Aston University

Bangor University

Birkbeck, University of London

Birmingham City University

Brighton University

Chester University

Chichester University

City University London

Coventry University

De Montfort University

Falmouth University

Glasgow Caldeonian University

Glasgow University

Goldsmith’s College London

Greenwich University

Harper Adams University

Heriot-Watt University

Holloway University (RHUL)

Huddersfield University

Keele University

Kingston University

Lancaster University

Leeds Beckett University

Liverpool John Moores University

Liverpool University

Loughborough University

London South Bank University

Manchester Metropolitan University

Middlesex University

Newcastle University

Northumbria University

Norwich University of Arts

Oxford Brookes

Plymouth University

Queen Mary University

Ravensbourne University

Reading University

Sheffield Hallam

Sheffield University

SOAS University London

Solent Southampton University

St. George’s, University of London

Staffordshire University

Stirling University

Surrey University

Sussex University

Swansea University

Teesside University

University of Bath

University of Bournemouth

University of Derby

University of East Anglia

University of Gloucestershire

University of Hull

University of Kent

University of Newcastle

University of Southampton

University of St Andrews

University of Strathclyde

University of Suffolk

University of Sunderland

University of the West of England

University of Wales

University of Wolverhampton

University of Lincoln

University of the Arts London

Warwick University

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