Are universities doing enough to protect students?
When young people enter into university, it is usually as they are eighteen or just about to cross that threshold that recognises them as officially being adults. Yet, we have a dismissive culture that acts as though adults just need to suck up life and never have any problems. This is a toxic culture. It’s also one of the reasons why we have such a disastrous mental health climate.
Universities so often seem to just not be bothered about their duty of care to students. Transmisics who spout hate are invited to universities in order to facilitate ‘free speech’, when really they are all unqualified and are just spouting hate (which would contravene the 2010 Equality Act if it was ever actually followed). There are severe waiting times in universities for students to be able to access mental health support. Additionally, universities are often so pedantic and bureaucratic, it’s almost impossible for students who are struggling to even begin to access support in ‘the right way’. The university systems shut students out of getting adequate support. Many drop out, with nothing but a trail of debt behind them.
“It’s almost impossible for students who are struggling to even begin to access support in ‘the right way'”
Universities must provide accessible and safe education. Students don’t pay 9k for nothing, or maybe they do given the contempt with which universities treat students. A ban on students – who had set up a chat to joke about and make threats of rape – entering Warwick University has been overturned. The young adult men had even joked about their original sentence and set up a second chat stating “let’s do it all again”. The original chat also contained racist and anti-Semitic hate speech with one user declaring that he “loved Hitler”.
Students cannot feel safe when such chats go unpunished. Universities have a serious problem with rape culture, and many students don’t feel supported if they experience sexual assault or harassment.
Warwick University has completely neglected its duty to protect its students, but it is far from alone in that. Many universities are refusing to protect or respect their students – whether it’s on issues of sexual assault, racism or on trans rights. Our university culture is a mess. Unis care enough only to make sure they get enough students who will pay their tuition fees, but then abandon any commitment to supporting students once they take up their programs. It’s not good enough. Students are right to protest and universities need to change.