West Yorkshire students to play key role in research to combat campus hate crime

A SPECIALLY-trained team of students will play a key role in a £100,000 research project at the University of Huddersfield that aims to ensure hate crime cannot take root on UK campuses.

Hate.

Although the institution currently has no actual reports of hate crimes, in common with many universities across the country, research has shown that victims often do not report it.

The goal of the project is to investigate and “dismantle any barriers” that might hinder the reporting of crimes or incidents motivated by factors such as race, gender or disability.

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One of the outcomes will probably be the establishment of a single recording and reporting point.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England awarded the university almost £50,000 for the proposed research titled Enhancing a Safe and Secure Learning Community.

But the money has been matched by the institution itself alongside West Yorkshire Police, Kirklees Council and the Huddersfield Students’ Union. The project is now under way.

The university’s director of student services, Matt Mills, said: “One of the motivations for our project is to better understand the reasons behind the lack of reporting.

“We will introduce measures and mitigations to better support our students, because the consequences of hate crime against an individual are awful.”

One important element will be the recruitment of some 20 students who will act as peer educators on campus and online.

The university’s Secure Societies Institute is to take a lead of making sure that lessons from the research will be disseminated throughout the higher education sector.