Universities Spend Millions To Silence Bulling And Harassment Claims

17 April 2019, 09:56 | Updated: 17 April 2019, 09:59

Some NDAs relate to allegations of bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct.
Some NDAs relate to allegations of bullying, harassment or sexual misconduct. Picture: PA

Universities have spent nearly £90 million on gagging orders to silence allegations of bullying, discrimination and sexual misconduct.

Academics and staff have been paid off in settlements and been asked to sign gagging orders to stop allegations becoming public.

The BBC asked nearly 140 universities how much they had paid in settlements that included non disclosure agreements.

Figures from the 96 institutions that responded showed around £87 million had been spent since 2017.

Some of the settlements were for sexual harassment or bullying.

Non-disclosure agreements are normally used to protect trade secrets. Often called 'gagging-orders' they are a way of stopping information being revealed.

Universities UK, the sector's representative organisation, said non-disclosure agreements should not be used to prevent victims from speaking out and such practices "will not be tolerated".

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