The Federal Government proposes a national student ombudsman with powers to investigate student complaints and resolve disputes with higher education providers on gender violence.
It is part of a draft plan by a working group on university governance chaired by Our Watch CEO Patty Kinnersly, which was adopted by Education Ministers this week and will be implemented after Ministers receive feedback on the proposals. The new plan follows criticism of universities management of student complaints of gender-based violence from student groups and a Senate Committee.
“Students and staff in higher education deserve to be and feel safe. Over the last several years, evidence has shown that sexual assault and sexual harassment continue to occur in university communities at significant rates,” the draft plan states.