Safety First: UK Universities Race to Play it Safe
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Safety First: UK Universities Race to Play it Safe

Safety First: UK Universities Race to Play it Safe

The Complete University Guide has revealed the best and worst universities and colleges in the UK for student safety.

On their website, The Complete University Guide states that official data for crime specifically against students is not available; therefore, after seeking professional advice about the crime most likely to affect the student population, the organisation gathered data on issues most commonly affecting students.

The ranking is based on the relative levels of crime with relevance to students. It does not record crimes in which the students themselves are involved.

To gather the data, the Complete University Guide listed the annual reported incidents per thousand residents between May 2014 and April 2015, “within wards or electoral divisions of which parts are within 3 miles of the main university or college campus, normalised for population density.”

With regards to universities with multiple campuses, the figures relate to the ‘Main Campus’ as defined by the institution itself.

Assembled from official police data, the Ordinance Survey and the Office for National Statistics, the league tables demonstrate that universities in the South West and South East have the lowest crime rate.

The University of Buckingham, Falmouth University and Durham University snagged the top spots for the lowest cumulative crime rates in England and Wales, representing the safest campus environments for students.

Universities in Greater London, featured on a separate table, with Kingston University London coming out on top for safety within the region

The Complete University Guide claims the reason for the study was that many students are uninformed on the safety levels in their chosen university town/city. An increased awareness of security precautions can only help prepare students for university life and ensure an enjoyable and safe study experience.

Dr Bernard Kingston, the study’s primary author, said: “Most universities, actively advise students on the precautions they should take to avoid being victims of crime.

“All prospective students should be able to compare the [safety] in and near individual institutions with much greater precision.”

The UK government is currently working on initiatives to increase safety for women at universities, to ensure higher levels of personal safety for both males and females alike across institutions throughout the country.

British universities are also getting in on the act, with many drawing up codes of practice “to bring about cultural change” and to help guarantee a safe and secure environment for all of their students, both on and off campus.

Making students aware of the precautions they can take to increase their safety during their time at university can, of course, only be a good thing, and it’s hoped that universities will use the findings from this study to help keep students informed and to build new initiatives that ensure the goal of providing a safe and secure study environment for each and every student.

Image via Shutterstock.

 

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