University of Queensland works hard to ensure student safety

4 January 2017

Deciding to study abroad is challenging. Along with the common questions associated with moving around the globe are some pertinent ones: How will you get around? Where should you live? Is it a safe area?
In today’s world, we should be able to say, “You don’t have to worry,” but that’s not always realistic. What is realistic is knowing that the university you are planning to attend takes student safety seriously.
The University of Queensland works hard to ensure the safety of all students, staff and visitors who attend its campuses.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Professor Joanne Wright said up to 50,000 people travelled to and from UQ’s campuses each day, and working to keep people safe at all campuses was a significant task.

University of Queensland works hard to ensure student safety
UQ Safezone App (Image: UQ)

“UQ is now participating in a Universities Australia’s student survey on sexual assault and harassment, in the latest step in a long line of safety initiatives,” Professor Wright said.
“UQ has policies, procedures and supports in place for members of the UQ community who encounter any forms of assault and harassment.
“We work to promote a safe environment for people to report all incidents, including those that occur off campus, so that people can be properly supported and incidents can be investigated and referred to police and other authorities as appropriate.”
University of Queensland Chief Operating Officer Mr Greg Pringle said UQ’s UniSafe personal safety awareness program, launched in 1992 was the first of its kind at an Australian university.
He said not all incidents were reported to UQ.
“Sometimes people report directly to police, which is quite appropriate. But, worryingly, sometimes people don’t report them at all.”
Safety initiatives at University of Queensland campuses include

  • the UQ SafeZone App launched in 2016;
  • a network of  85 emergency call points for immediate connection to security staff;
  • free UniSafe Escorts on all campuses to accompany anyone to public transport or carparks after dark;
  • a free Safety Bus service;
  • more than 800 CCTV cameras monitored live and providing  post-event analysis;
  • an around-the-clock security team trained in first-aid and safety;
  • a policy outlining sexual harassment and reporting requirements and a network of Discrimination and Harassment Contact Officers;
  • confidential counselling services and emotional assistance for students throughout the process of reporting matters; and
  • counselling services and legal advice through the UQ Student Union.

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