The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) statement comes ahead of the August 1 release of a university-commissioned survey by the Australian Human Rights Commission on student sexual assault and sexual harassment.
“Australia’s university leaders share the strong determination of our postgraduate students and their peak body to be guided by robust evidence in our work on safety and respect,” said Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson.
“That’s why Vice-Chancellors commissioned this survey – to ensure we all had a clear picture of what is working effectively, and what more needs to be done.”
“Student leadership and student input in this work is fundamental – and university leaders know they cannot address this challenge alone,” Ms Robinson said.
CAPA made 19 recommendations about prevention and student support work.
Universities Australia has been working closely with CAPA for some time on these issues.
“The CAPA report is another important contribution to our collective response to this challenge. They continue to be an important partner in this work as we examine what more we can all do to support and protect students,” she said.
“There is no greater priority for universities than the safety and security of our students.”
CAPA noted the survey is “a historic and meaningful step” by universities in Australia.
CAPA also praised “the strong leadership” of Vice-Chancellors in engaging independent experts, in the form of the Australian Human Rights Commission, to undertake this survey.
Further background on the national survey commissioned by Universities Australia can be found here.