Thursday, 17 September 2020
Department of Education and Skills
Third Level Institutions
150. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of incidents of bullying, intimidation or harassment including sexual harassment reported in each of the past five years to date in third-level institutions; the extent to which such allegations were investigated; the action taken arising therefrom; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24572/20]
Statistics of this nature have not historically been collected on a systematic basis from the higher education sector. However, in 2019 information was collected which highlighted the following data in respect of 19 institutions, where information was available. The specific actions adjudged necessary and taken as a result of any such incident are matters for each higher education institution (HEI).
Sexual assault or harassment disclosed / reported by students
Sexual assault / harassment cases involving students investigated by HEIs
In August 2020, I wrote to the Presidents of all publicly funded HEIs in relation to strengthening the implementation of the Framework for Consent in HEIs; Safe, Respectful, Supportive and Positive: Ending Sexual Harassment in Irish Higher Education Institutions, which was launched in April 2019.
I have requested that all HEIs develop and publish, by February 2021, specific institutional action plans on tackling sexual violence and harassment. These actions plans will involve the implementation of systems that record the number of incidents of bullying, intimidation or harassment including sexual harassment reported in each institution.
The Higher Education Authority has oversight of the Framework for Consent, and institutions will be required to report annually to the HEA once the institutional action plans are in place.