universities pledge

 

On January 18 2022, Michele Donelan, Minister for Further and Higher Education in England, announced that universities must stop using NDAs for complaints about sexual harassment, bullying and other forms of misconduct. In her words, “I am determined to see this shabby practice stamped out on our campuses.”

 

The first step is a voluntary pledge which Minister Donelan and Can’t Buy My Silence are asking universities to sign on to:

 

“Backed by the Minister for Higher and Further Education, former Equalities Select Committee Chair Maria Miller MP and campaign group #CantBuyMySilence, we [our vice-chancellor and higher education provider] commit to not using Non-Disclosure Agreements to silence people who come forward to raise complaints of sexual harassment, abuse or misconduct, or other forms of harassment and bullying.”

 

Signing the pledge means that the provider undertakes to never use a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in a case involving sexual harassment, discrimination, other forms of misconduct and/or bullying. It is intended to ensure that victims can speak about what has happened to them to whoever would be appropriate; and that any harmful behaviour is not hidden, thereby allowing opportunities for repeat offences and further victims.

We recognise that NDAs may be appropriate where there has been access to commercially sensitive information, and where it would be reasonable for an organisation to take steps to ensure that such information remains undisclosed. This pledge is not designed to encompass such cases.

 

If you represent an English provider of higher education, and you want to sign the pledge on behalf of your institution, please contact Adam Watson at the Department for Education:  adam.watson@education.gov.uk

Please check to see if your university has signed the pledge (See list below) and if not, please consider sending them this letter urging them to do so!

 

LETTER TO VC


PLEDGE LIST

 

The following Universities have signed onto the Pledge to stop using NDAs for complaints about sexual harassment, bullying and other forms of misconduct.

 

Please note that Minister Donelan’s pledge is directed at the English universities.  However, there are others that inform us there are making the same commitment to stop using NDAs to cover up misconduct.

 

 

REPORTING A BREACH OF THE PLEDGE

English universities

Buckinghamshire New University
Edge Hill University
University of Exeter
Goldsmiths, University of London
Keele University
Newcastle University
Northumbria University
The Open University
University of Plymouth
University of Reading
UCL (University College London)University of Warwick
University of the West of England (UWE Bristol)
University of York
Aston University
University of Bristol
Canterbury Christ Church University
Durham University
London South Bank University
Manchester Metropolitan University
University of Southampton
University of Sheffield
University of East Anglia
Middlesex University
University of Nottingham
University of Birmingham
University of Leeds
University of Lancaster
Bath Spa University
De Montfort University
Leeds Trinity University
University of Manchester
University of Chichester
Solent University
London Metropolitan University
Loughborough University
University of Kent
University of Winchester
Hartpury University and Hartpury College
Sheffield Hallam University
University of Liverpool
University of Leicester
Plymouth College of Art
Royal Holloway, University of London

 

 

 

 

University of Greenwich
Teesside University
University of Hertfordshire

University of Worcester

AECC University College

Royal Northern College of Music

Royal Academy of Music

NCG

University of Westminster

Harper Adams University

The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

University of Bolton

University of Salford

SOAS University of London

BIMM Institute

University of Brighton

University of Gloucestershire

Brunel University London

Huddersfield University

University of West London

University of Sussex

University of Bath

University for the Creative Arts

University of Essex

Oxford Brookes University

Staffordshire University

 

oxbridge Colleges

Lady Margaret Hall Oxford

Keble College (University of Oxford)

Linacre College (University of Oxford)

 

Universities outside England

Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales 

Queen’s University in Northern Ireland

Ulster University in Northern Ireland

Stranmillis University College in Northern Ireland

St Mary’s University College in Northern Ireland

Open University in Northern Ireland

This list is updated on a weekly basis to include higher education providers that have most recently signed up to the pledge.

 

We reserve the right to remove the name of a pledge signatory from the list where there is evidence that the pledge has been breached. Where and when a satisfactory resolution of the breach, or alleged breach, has been resolved the name of the provider would be reinstated on the list of signatories.

student resources

We have been working with the NUS and campaigning group Not on my Campus to produce information to help you navigate your way through any form of confidentiality restrictions presented to you by your university or college.

 

FIND OUT MORE