Bond University has apologised to students who have experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault on campus.
The university has the highest reported number of sexual assaults among students in the country, according to a new survey.
Vice-chancellor Tim Brailsford has promised a new urgent task force “to oversee an inquiry, review and reform”, as a result of the survey findings.
Bond University sexual harassment and sexual assault
The National Student Safety Survey involved Australia’s 39 major universities with 452 Bond students taking part.
113 students (25 percent) reported experiencing sexual harassment, with 93 of those in the past 12 months.
Meanwhile, 59 students (13.2 percent) reported sexual assault, 42 in the past 12 months – almost three times the national average of 4.5 percent.
Finally, 71.7 percent of students who reported sexual harassment knew their perpetrator.
Bond University apologises to students
Vice-chancellor Tim Brailsford said he is “shocked” by the survey’s findings and has subsequently apologised to victim-survivors.
“To the students that have suffered through any incident, which is just completely unacceptable, I say sorry.
“This is a scourge on society and … universities are not exempt.
“We have high standards, however those high standards have not been met. And I say sorry.”
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The Human Rights Commission previously ranked Bond University as the fifth-worst university for sexual assault in the country at the time.
Professor Brailsford has subsequently conceded his campus has failed students.
“Despite our efforts, these data show that we have not made as much progress as we thought we had on reducing incidents of sexual harassment in addition to sexual assault,” he said.
“Those numbers send a very strong signal here that we need to take action, we need to take action very quickly.
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