Thursday, 7 February 2019
Department of Education and Skills
Third Level Institutions
The practice of taking actions which deliberately cause embarrassment, harassment or ridicule, or which risk emotional or physical harm to members of a group or team or indeed, any individual has no place in our education system or indeed anywhere in the community.
As Minister I have no control over Higher Education institutions or the clubs and societies associated with them, although I am sure that the Higher Education institutions would agree with me that behaviours such as hazing are entirely inappropriate. Where such unacceptable behaviour occurs it is the societies themselves who must ultimately accept responsibility.
I would also note that there is a significant body of valuable work in relation to student welfare and well-being being carried out at present by my colleague the Minister of State for Higher Education, through her work on gender equality and consent at third level. Further to this, the Healthy Campus initiative is being developed and implemented as a strand of the Healthy Ireland framework in consultation between my Department, officials of the Department of Health, and key stakeholders in Higher Education. This initiative aims to ensure that the health of students, including their mental health and well-being, is supported in all our Higher Education institutions.