We believe that bullying and harassment are never okay.

Bullying:   Bullying is unacceptable and unwanted behaviour, usually repeated over time that causes a person to feel offended, intimidated, fearful or humiliated and which involves real or perceived misuse of power or power imbalance. Power imbalances could be social or group power, power due to role, physical strength, or access to embarrassing information.  Power can include coercion through fear or intimidation. 

Harassment:  Harassment is when someone engages in unwanted conduct, which intentionally or unintentionally violates a person’s dignity or creates a hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. 

Discrimination has no place at The Open University.  Our staff have the right to work and our students the right to study in an environment that is free from bullying and harassment, which gives them the dignity and respect to which they are entitled. 

Bullying and harassment are contrary to the Equality Act 2010 and the University staff and student Dignity and Respect Policy and staff Bullying and Harassment Policy.


  • Are you in immediate danger? If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured, you can contact the emergency services on 999 (or 112 from a mobile phone).
  • Find a safe space.  If an incident has just happened try and find somewhere you feel safe. 
  • What are bullying and harassment? It might be useful to think about what is meant by bullying and harassment and how these behaviours are described.  


  • Report and Support. Students and staff are encouraged to report an incident using the University’s Report and Support system. You can choose to do this anonymously, which will allows us to investigate if there are multiple instances in one area, or you can provide detailed information about the incident so the University can take necessary action, in confidence. 
  • University Procedure. If you choose to make a formal complaint to the University about a student or member of staff, there are procedures that set out the steps you will need to follow.

Get Support 
  • Find out what support is available if you think you have been bullied or harassed.
Mental Health and Wellbeing


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