Consultation on the Draft Action Plan Addressing Gender-based Violence in Higher Education

The 2021 National Student Safety Survey found that since starting university, 1 in 6 students had experienced sexual harassment and 1 in 20 had experienced sexual assault in a university context.

The Australian Universities Accord Interim Report highlighted this issue as an area for immediate attention. A Commonwealth, State and Territory officials Working Group was established to develop reform options.

On 22 November 2023 Education Ministers released a Draft Action Plan Addressing Gender-based Violence in Higher Education for further consultation. The Draft Action Plan recognises the leading role the higher education sector can and should play to prevent gender-based violence and set the example for appropriate, trauma-informed responses to victim survivors.

The first action proposed is a National Student Ombudsman, which would be a single point of contact for higher education students to escalate complaints if they are not satisfied with their provider’s response.

Stakeholders are now invited to consider the Draft Action Plan Addressing Gender-based Violence in Higher Education and provide specific feedback on the National Student Ombudsman.