Minister Harris launches report from DCU’s Anti-Bullying Centre

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has launched a report on the findings of the National Survey of Student Experiences of Bullying in Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

The report, conducted by the DCU Anti-Bullying Centre in association with National College of Ireland and Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT) presents the findings of the prevalence and impact of bullying from an anonymous online survey of 2,573 students in HEIs.

Key facts

  • 4% (just under a fifth of students) experienced negative acts, such as bullying online or offline over the last academic year.
  • 6% of students reported experiencing real life negative acts “now and than.”
  • Less than 2% (on average) were subjected to these negative acts monthly, weekly and daily.
  • 1% of respondents who experienced negative acts reported being bullied for several months.
  • Although 42.4% of survey respondents were aware that their institution had an anti-bullying policy, 56.6% were unsure whether their HEI had an anti-bullying policy and 1% reported that their institution did not have an anti bullying policy.

Launching the survey report, Minister Harris said:

“As Minister for Further and Higher Education I’ve placed a real focus on ensuring our third level institutions are a safe place for everyone, no matter who you are or where you are from. In doing this, I have asked higher education institutions to answer my calls for change, and they are answering it by applying an evidence-based approach.”

“This survey together with the staff bullying surveys and student and staff surveys of experiences of sexual violence and harassment in higher education, have provided a rich source of evidence which will inform further actions to address these issues and make higher education a safe place for staff and students. This is the most effective way to tackling bullying long term.”

“We live in a society now where bullying is taking place increasingly online and I want to make sure that the third level sector is sufficiently equipped and informed to making every institution a safe place to work and study in.”

“I really want to thank all the students across the country who took the time to engage with this survey and share their experiences of bullying with us.”

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