The University's response to the Prevent Duty
The University’s approach
The University’s response to the Prevent duty is guided by our institutional values of inclusiveness, integrity and community and our commitment to ensure that everyone on campus is treated fairly, with dignity and respect, and in a supportive and welcoming environment.
The University’s approach to fulfilling the Prevent duty is based on the following judgments:
(a) that the greatest protection against students being drawn into terrorism, or quasi-terrorist activities, is to ensure that as a community, we celebrate diversity and difference and that, through our culture and our curriculum, we inculcate the values of global citizenship and tolerance;
(b) that, in an institution of learning, the most effective ways of countering views that might draw people into terrorism is through open debate and dialogue; and
(c) that in the UK people are more prone to being drawn into terrorist activities when alienated from society and their local community.
The University is mindful that introduction of the Prevent duty has generated concern among some staff and students. Whilst we are legally required to comply with our statutory obligations on Prevent, we have deliberately guarded against a heavy-handed response, which would risk alienating and disenfranchising those individuals that we are seeking to protect.
There are a number of misconceptions about the Prevent duty, which can be clarified. The duty is not about snooping on our students and staff; interfering with academic freedom and freedom of expression; ignoring legal responsibilities relating to equality and diversity and promoting good campus relations; preventing research and teaching on sensitive topics; or ignoring our responsibilities around confidentiality and data protection.
Support for students and staff
Our approach to Prevent is not simply about identifying those at risk of being drawn into terrorism, but to ensure that individuals facing challenges and difficulties receive proper support. This is framed by our commitment to the wellbeing of its students and staff.
E-learning module: introduction to the Prevent duty
The University has adopted the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (now known as Advance HE) e-learning module which provides an introduction to the Prevent duty as it affects higher education. You can access this module via Minerva here.
The Prevent duty, which came into force for universities in September 2015, places legal requirements on the University to minimise the risk of individuals being drawn into terrorism and to ensure vulnerable individuals receive timely and appropriate support.
The University is required to demonstrate that its processes and policies have due regard to the duty. Our response to the duty is being overseen by the Prevent Consultation Group. The Group is chaired by the University Secretary and includes colleagues from Leeds University Union (LUU), Student Support, the Chaplaincy and the Equality Service.
Information on the Prevent agenda is also available on the Safe Campus Communities website.
Last updated - 27.11.2019 (CLLC)