Goldsmiths makes sexual harassment NDA pledge

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Goldsmiths, University of London is one of the first universities to have signed a pledge not to use Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) in responding to complaints of sexual harassment and bullying.

The pledge, backed by campaigners and the government, commits Goldsmiths to not using legally-binding NDAs against students and staff who come forward to report abuse or misconduct. 

Professor Frances Corner, Warden of Goldsmiths, was among six university leaders to sign the pledge at a launch event on 18 January 2022. The other five universities are: Cambridge, Exeter, Keele, UCL and Buckinghamshire New University. The College’s policy is not to use NDAs in such cases with the pledge reaffirming this commitment. 

The full pledge reads: 

Backed by the Minister for Higher and Further Education, former Equalities Select Committee Chair Maria Miller MP and campaign group #CantBuyMySilence, we, Goldsmiths, University of London, commit to not using Non-Disclosure Agreements to silence people who come forward to raise complaints of sexual harassment, abuse or misconduct, or other forms of harassment and bullying. 

Professor Corner said: “At Goldsmiths we have recognised for a long time that these kinds of agreements can prevent survivors from speaking out which is why we do not use them in such cases. When I was invited to be among the first to sign this pledge I was very keen to do so and I believe many of my fellow university leaders will also see that making this commitment is the right thing to do.

“Sexual violence in all its forms is sadly pervasive throughout society, including at universities, and we must all work together if we are to identify and tackle these behaviours.”

The full announcement is on the Department for Education website