COMPULSORY sex classes could be rolled out at a top Scottish University in a bid to teach students the importance of consent.
As part of an effort to ensure the safety and security of students, Dundee University are discussing the possibility of mandatory consent classes for first years.
During Fresher’s week, the university offers workshops dealing with the topic of sexual consent.
Although students are encouraged to attend these events they are still operated on a voluntary basis.
Graham Nicholson, Director of Student Services at the University of Dundee, said: “Discussions with Police Scotland and other universities are ongoing to develop a best-practice approach to ensure students are informed about consent and other issues they may face.
“From the moment they arrive on campus our students are made aware of the services available to help with any aspect of their lives and a team of Peer Connectors and Student Support Assistants proactively work to address the concerns of fellow students.”
The consideration comes after two universities in England faced criticism for making first years attend obligatory consent classes.
However, the initiative at Oxford and Cambridge universities failed to take off after not one fresher turned up to a class.
Earlier this year a student led campaign at the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian University aimed to tackle sexual violence.
The two universities partnered up with Rape Crisis Scotland to launch a training programme on preventing sexual violence.
Erin Ross, Vice-President for Student Support of the University of Glasgow Student Representative Council described the initiative as “another significant step on the road to a culture change that will enable students to get involved in challenging attitudes towards sexual violence and be supportive to survivors and victims”.
Other Scottish universities have also made efforts to protect their students safety.
A safe taxi scheme was launched at Stirling University in a move to make sure their students get home safely if they run out of money, and a similar initiative was started at Abertay University.
Edinburgh University also has a campaign which is in place to prevent sexual violence, a spokesperson from the university said:
“The University of Edinburgh is committed to providing a positive, respectful and safe environment for all our students, staff and visitors.
“In partnership with Edinburgh University Students’ Association and Edinburgh University Sports Union, we have launched “No-one Asks for it”, a campaign which aims to inform and educate students and staff about sexual harassment and violence, and includes advice on consent. It is being promoted in several locations across the University and online.”
“The campaign is based on research carried out by the UK Government, the National Union of Students (NUS) and Edinburgh University Students’ Association.”
In a report by the National Union of Students (NUS) it was revealed that one in five students experience sexual harassment during their fresher week.
In another report released by Police Scotland earlier this year, statistics showed that sexual crimes had increased by 6.2% over the last year – up to 10, 273 across the country.
A spokesperson from Rape Crisis Scotland said: “It is encouraging to see universities taking a proactive role in raising awareness among students of the meaning and importance of consent.”
“With high levels of sexual harassment being experienced, particularly by young women, it is vital that the attitudes and behaviours which underpin this are addressed and challenged directly. Universities have a duty of care to the students they educate, and undertaking sexual violence education and prevention work of this kind demonstrates that they take that responsibility seriously.”