We’re pleased to announce the University of Salford has just become the founder member of ProtectED. The institution was awarded the certification at a special evening reception in the House of Lords earlier this week (Monday 19 March). The event, hosted by longstanding Labour politician, academic and ProtectED patron Baroness Ruth Henig, focused on safety, security and wellbeing in higher education and was attended by university representatives from across the UK, as well as policy changers and partner organisations.
Upon receiving the certificate of membership, University of Salford Dean of School of Arts and Media Professor Allan Walker said: “The University of Salford is very proud to become the founder member of ProtectED. I think we’re witnessing something historic here today as I’m sure this initiative will continue to grow and grow. ProtectED is in line with so many of the major challenges we face in society today – you only need to look at the growing momentum around tackling sexual harassment in the media to know the time to act is now.”
The scheme offers an entirely different outlook on studying at university; academic excellence can never truly flourish unless we look at the whole student experience, including the wellbeing and safety of our students.”
The ProtectED Code of Practice and accreditation scheme is the result of three years of research, design and development by a multidisciplinary team of academics, university security services staff and external industry experts. The initiative assesses institutions wishing to be accredited across five key areas – core institutional safety and security, student wellbeing and mental health, international students, student harassment and sexual assault, and ‘the student night out’.
Speaking at the event, Director of ProtectED Andrew Wootton said: “From an initial concept just three years ago, we’ve grown and refined the ProtectED model and are proud to share it with you today. Developed to help address multiple issues that face universities today, the scheme is rooted in prevention and setting good practice.”
Guest speakers also included Hannah Price, Founder of Revolt Sexual Assault, who campaigns to expose the extent of sexual assault and harassment experienced by former and current students at university in the UK. Hannah shared her own personal sexual assault story, before throwing down the gauntlet to institutions in the room to take meaningful action to address this problem.
Dave Humphries from the Security Industry Authority and Helen Clews from the British Council also praised the pioneering scheme, along with commending the University on becoming the founder member. Lord Karan Bilimoria, Independent Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords and Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, also applauded ProtectED and commented how important it is for parents to feel their children are going to be secure and safeguarded when they leave home for university.
ProtectED is now seeking another eleven pioneering universities to join the ground-breaking scheme. Universities must meet the minimum requirements for all measures outlined in the ProtectED Code of Practice, to be awarded accreditation. A confidential accreditation process involves initial assessment by a Peer Review Panel of sector experts, followed by a Verification Visit by independent assessors. ProtectED Accredited Institution status is an indicator to prospective and current students, their parents and loved ones that the institution takes student welfare seriously.
If you would like more information about becoming a member of ProtectED, please get in touch.