Prevent duty

The Prevent Duty, which came into force on 18 September 2015, is the statutory obligation on certain bodies, including universities, to “have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.

The University takes the risk of radicalisation and threat of violent extremism and terrorism very seriously, yet at the same time strives to ensure that the institution strikes an appropriate balance between the Duty and other statutory duties such as the Freedom of Speech (Education Act [No 2] 1986), the Academic Freedom (Education Reform Act 1988) and the Equality Act 2010, all central to the ethos of Birmingham City University as a vibrant teaching and learning institution.

Therefore, the University will endeavour to implement its response to the Prevent duty in a responsible and proportionate way, and will continue to champion its commitment to freedom of speech as a rational basis for furthering learning and knowledge, especially as this can be a vital mechanism for challenging extreme views and ideologies.

Birmingham City University is committed to playing its role in the Prevent agenda; a commitment that is consistent with the University’s Core Values and forms part of the wide-ranging responsibility for the safety and well-being of staff, students and the wider community.

How we are implementing the duty

The approaches to implementing the duty can be summarised as follows:

  • Key institutional responsibilities relating to:

Corporate Compliance: Board of Governors
Leadership from the Vice-Chancellor and all UEG
Prevent Champion: University Secretary
Prevent Coordinator: Equality and Diversity Policy Advisor

  • The Prevent Working Group (representation from across the University)
  • Collaboration with the Students Union
  • Partnership working with other HEIs and “public” bodies in Birmingham
  • Support from staff across the University.

All Higher Education Institutions are being monitored by OfS, on behalf of the Home Office, on their implementation of the duty and the Prevent Working Group meets regularly to ensure this takes place.

Prevent activities

Current Prevent activities include:

  • Preparation of self-assessment, reporting and monitoring requirements to OfS 
  • Engagement and discussion with academic staff, Associate Deans, relevant faculty-based groups and committees.

The Board of Governors has overall responsibility for corporate compliance and along with the Vice-Chancellor will sign-off the various stages of monitoring requirements with OfS, supported internally by the Prevent Working Group, the Prevent Champion and the Prevent Co-ordinator.

Reporting concerns

If anyone is concerned that a student or member of staff is being drawn into terrorism they should contact the appropriate member of the University.