Update on independent review of our approach to addressing Gender-Based Violence

Published: 29 October 2021

Update on independent review of the University’s approach to addressing Gender-Based Violence

Content Warning: This email content relates to sexual violence. If you would like to access support, without reading further, please follow link Dignity at Work and Study Support, Guidance and Reporting – this includes resources on sexual harassment, assault and violence.

Following the announcement by the Principal on 29 October, Morag Ross QC has agreed to undertake a thorough investigation and review of the University’s current staff and student procedures and support arrangements in relation to Gender-Based Violence.  

Ms Ross will have open access to all evidence and will be able to speak with anyone she wishes to, and who wishes to speak to her, as part of the investigation, including trade unions and student representatives.  She will be supported by a junior advocate and administrative staff provided by the University.  The University is committed to implementing any recommendations arising from the review, including any that relate to our wider institutional culture. The review will begin formally in December and is expected to take a number of months.

Ms Ross was called to the bar in 2003 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel (a senior advocate) in 2016.  Her practice is predominantly in public law, including human rights and civil liberties.  Among other responsibilities, she is a member of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland.  In 2019-20, Ms Ross undertook an investigation relating to a case at Heriot-Watt University; the recommendations in the subsequent report were accepted in full by the University.

Welcoming the appointment, the Principal said: “I am very pleased that Morag Ross QC has agreed to undertake the review on behalf of the University.  We are determined to tackle harassment and abuse in our community in keeping with our values-led culture, and this review will help us to do that”.


Statement from the Principal on announcement of review of Gender-Based Violence - 29 October 2021

The University of Glasgow will undertake an independent external review of our processes in terms of student and staff reporting of gender-based violence and sexual harassment cases.

The safety and wellbeing of everyone in our University of Glasgow community has always been, and always will be, my top priority.

I am deeply sorry that any member of our community has been subjected to abuse or harassment and to hear that any student or colleague has felt unsafe or unsupported during their time at the University.

I have listened to you and recognise that we need to work harder to prevent abuse, to educate, and to build upon the support we provide to survivors of gender-based violence and other forms of harassment.

We can, and will, do more.

I, and the Senior Management Group, are committed to embedding our values-led culture and fostering a climate of trust within our community where allegations will be dealt with swiftly, compassionately and appropriately, and we will continuously improve our approach to ensure better support for survivors.

I am initiating a full, independent investigation and review of our colleague and student complaints procedures and support networks, to ensure we do everything we can to safeguard our community.

The University has an online reporting mechanism in place and we actively encourage colleagues and students to report issues this way. Any colleague or student who comes forward is offered personal support, including advice on how to engage with counselling and wellbeing services and guidance on their reporting options.

I will share more information on the investigation and review as soon as possible, and make a commitment to act upon any recommendations made.

If you have been affected by these issues in any way, please reach out to us. You will find support resources below if you need them.


Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli

Principal and Vice-Chancellor

University of Glasgow

Internal Support 

  • The University, in conjunction with Rape Crisis, has trained a group of staff as Sexual Violence and Harassment First Responders. They can provide information and support in confidence.
  • Students can book a consultation with the counselling service online, or by emailing studentcounselling@glasgow.ac.uk
  • Respect Advisers are volunteer members of staff who have been trained to offer confidential, impartial, advice and support to anyone experiencing issues with harassment or bullying.
  • Colleagues can access counselling support via PAM ASSIS

External Support 

  • Rape Crisis Scotlandprovide a national helpline and email support to anyone affected by sexual assault. The helpline operates between 6pm and Midnight on 08088 01 03 02. Glasgow & Clyde Rape Crisis can be contacted on 08088 00 00 14, Mon-Fri 11am – 2pm 

Further Reporting Information 

  • Useful information on external reporting can be found on the Police Scotland website here, along with helpline numbers and information videos.


Safety Information 

  • Student or colleagues with a smartphone are encouraged to download the Safezone App.
  • Students are reminded of the SRC’s Get Home Safe Schemewith Glasgow Taxis - Campus Security - University Gatehouse 0141 330 4282 / Crisis number 0141 330 4444 


First published: 29 October 2021