One in three Muslim students have suffered Islamophobic abuse at university over the past year, a new survey has revealed.
Published by the National Union of Students (NUS), the report also found that 79% of students who are suffering abuse think it is because they are Muslim.
In a joint foreword to the report, NUS Women’s Officer Hareem Ghani and NUS Black Students’ Officer said it became ‘increasingly apparent’ that the union ‘failed to grasp the day-to-day realities of Muslim students on campus’.
“Although there are an estimated 330,000 Muslim students in higher education and further education in the UK, there seemed to be little information (or understanding) about the ‘Muslim’ student experience.
“This research was therefore commissioned by the Black Students’ Campaign and the NUS Women’s Campaign as an attempt to bridge this gap and to resolve questions such as, ‘What does it mean to be Muslim in Britain today?’,” they said.
In response to the study, Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner MP told The Independent: “The details revealed in the NUS report about the experiences of Muslim students are shocking. No student should ever feel like they are not safe because of their ethnicity, gender or religion.”
“Our universities are places of learning and debate, and should also act as a safe space for all students from fear of persecution, harm and bigotry.
“Universities have a duty of care towards the physical and mental wellbeing of their students, first and foremost.”
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “There is no place in higher education for hatred or any form of discrimination or prejudice, and we expect providers to act swiftly to address hate crime, reported to them, including anti-Muslim incidents.”
The full NUS report can be found online.