Keele University awarded HEFCE Catalyst Funding

Posted on 17 March 2017

Keele University has been successful in its recent application for a HEFCE Catalyst grant. The successful project around student safeguarding will build on existing sector-leading practice already developed at Keele.

The project aims to pilot a number of innovative approaches to the delivery of training and support regarding sexual violence and misconduct, and consequently to contribute to the development of sector best practice in an increasingly important aspect of student welfare.

The University will work in partnership with external organisations, Keele Students’ Union and trained student volunteers to develop a suite of resources, and to raise awareness, challenge existing attitudes and behaviours and encourage and promote behavioural change.

Ian Munton, Head of Student Support and Development Services at Keele University said:

“We’re committed to ensuring that Keele continues to be a safe place of living and learning. We have already made an investment in our support services relating to sexual violence and are committed to increasing this. If proven to be successful, the model of a dedicated sexual violence officer, supported by external specialist investigators, will be extended.

“Students will play a pivotal role in both the development of the training programme and the delivery, and it will have a positive impact for all students, enabling them to feel safe and supported within our community.”

Natalie Jordan, Welfare and Internationalisation Officer at Keele Students’ Union said:

"Through working in partnership we have achieved a lot in this area over the last academic year and we congratulate the University on their successful HEFCE bid. This does however remain a challenging area and the Students' Union is looking forward to working closely with the University to develop our approaches, in particular our work on bystander interventions."

Professor Trevor McMillan, Vice Chancellor at Keele University said:

“This is a hugely important project and I am certain that it will produce tangible benefits to the student experience here at Keele, as well as developing best practice that can be translated elsewhere.”

The project, entitled ‘Taking Responsibility: Ensuring Effective Prevention, Support and Response to Sexual Violence on Campus’ further demonstrates Keele’s commitment to eradicating sexual violence in all its forms. Extensive work has been undertaken in partnership with the Students’ Union and external partners over the course of the last 18 months to improve the experience for survivors of sexual violence and to make disclosure easier.

The development of a comprehensive Sexual Violence Policy and connected support framework has led, amongst other things, to the establishment of a Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Service, and a Sexual Violence Liaison Officer training programme developed in partnership with Lime Culture.

For more information and resources, visit our Student Services web pages.