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Colleges to offer consent classes as part of sexual harassment response

Third-level students are to take consent classes in a bid to tackle sexual violence on Irish camp...
Newstalk
Newstalk

15.41 28 Jun 2021


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Colleges to offer consent clas...

Colleges to offer consent classes as part of sexual harassment response

Newstalk
Newstalk

15.41 28 Jun 2021


Share this article


Third-level students are to take consent classes in a bid to tackle sexual violence on Irish campuses.

Colleges are also introducing anonymous reporting tools and disclosure training as part of their action plans being published today.

Each college is publishing its own institutional plan based around a Framework for Consent launched in April 2019.

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They will now have to report back to the Higher Education Authority every year, updating it on the progress they are making in rolling them out.

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris told Newstalk he hopes consent classes will be up and running in time for the coming academic year:

“I would have made a very clear statement last year that I would like consent classes to be provided to all incoming students,” he said.

“I think there is a lot of evidence behind the fact that a student that has attended a consent class really learns a number of things that stand to them right throughout their college experience – I have been working with a number of institutions on that.

“So, I would echo that call again this year for all colleges to work to put in place consent classes for students, particularly incoming first-year students whether that is online or in-person.”

Meanwhile, Irish Second-Level Students' Union President Reuben Murray said the classes should be introduced in secondary schools.

“It is really important that we take these measures and try to implement them,” he said.

“I think the question we need to ask though is, we are implementing it at third level, should we look at making it stronger in secondary level as well?

“These things don’t just happen when you get to third level. Let’s start this education at second level too.”

Minister Harris said a national survey sent to around 235,000 students and 30,000 staff members earlier this year will provide invaluable evidence for shaping policies into the future.

He said the HSE is currently studying the results which will be released in the autumn.


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