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Hallam awarded new funding to tackle religious-based hate crime

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Sheffield Hallam University will receive funding from the Office for Students (OfS) to play a leading role in tackling religion-based hate crime and harassment affecting students on campus and across the region.

Delivered by Sheffield Hallam's Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice, which is part of the department of law and criminology, the University is one of 11 higher education institutions in England who will receive a share of £480,000 over two years (2018-19 and 2019-20) to conduct student-led projects to enhance student safeguarding on campus.

The funding comes in response to a 2016 report by the Universities UK Harassment Task Force, which explored the nature and scale of hate crimes in higher education and highlighted a need for institutions to respond more effectively.

This is the third phase of the national scheme, and Sheffield Hallam has received funding for each phase. In 2017, universities across England were awarded a total of £2.45million to address sexual harassment on campus and £1.45million to tackle hate crime and online harassment.

Sheffield Hallam's students are a key partner on the project, and will be employed as peer educators and ambassadors, raising awareness and working with community partners, local schools and youth groups across Sheffield.

President of Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union, Luke Renwick, said: “This funding provides both Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union and Sheffield Hallam University with an amazing opportunity to increase campaigning and support for projects that highlight and address hate crimes and incidents. It is imperative that organisations such as ours are at the forefront of eliminating religious-based discrimination and, as a hate-crime reporting center for the area, we look forward to collaborating and fostering a safer and more tolerant city for all.”

The 11 universities will also form a national network overseen by OfS where they can share resources and best practices to collectively eliminate discrimination across the country.

Dr. Rebecca Wright, criminal barrister and senior lecturer in human rights law who is leading the project for Hallam, said:"Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of everything we do at Sheffield Hallam University. We look forward to joining a network of universities working to improve the safety and wellbeing of students on campus and all across the country. This project furthers our commitment to uphold the values set out in the University's Equality Objectives 2017-2020 to create long-term sustainable initiatives that improve the safety and wellbeing of students both on-campus and off.

"Together with our students and community partners the University is leading the way to increase reporting and prevention of all forms of discrimination. This funding will allow us to continue our national efforts to work within a network of universities, students and local partners to eradicate all forms of discrimination on campus."

For press information: Andrea Ruttan in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 3244 or email