University of Oxford bans intimate staff-student relationships

Posted: 10th March 2023

Source: BBC News

The University of Oxford has banned intimate relationships between members of staff and their students.

The institution will introduce the new rule from 17 April after the previous policy of “strongly discouraging” relations was reviewed.

Staff will also be urged not to form any other close personal associations which could be deemed outside “professional conduct”.

The policy said those who do not comply will face disciplinary procedures.

In the past, relationships between a staff member and a student were allowed and had to be declared to a line manager.

However, the university has joined institutions such as University College London and the University of Nottingham by announcing intimate relationships will be prohibited.

The organisation spent months developing the policy and said it consulted widely.

It told the BBC any existing relationships would be dealt with by avoiding conflicts of interest.

This would mean the university would ensure a member of staff would not have or receive any responsibility for a student they have an intimate or close personal relationship with.

The University of Oxford added the policy was not in response to the recent consultation by the Office for Students, which looks at new regulations for universities to tackle harassment and sexual misconduct on campuses.

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