University of Kigali’s Approach to curbing Sexual Harassment

By UoK management
On 31 October 2022 at 08:33

The University of Kigali (UoK) is a fully-accredited and chartered university by the Government of the Republic of Rwanda. In fulfillment of the University’s commitment to quality academic service delivery and holistic development of staff and students, UoK’s Board of Promoters and Senior management Team have established effective measures to curb sexual harassment among staff and students.

Dominant among these is the UoK Academic Integrity, Sexual Misconduct and Plagiarism Policy. The Policy, which is published on the University’s website defines Sexual Misconduct as “all forms of irregular sexual advances made either towards University of Kigali staff or students.”

For the avoidance of doubt, the Policy further specifies acts of sexual misconduct as:

1. Inappropriate messaging of or amorous conversations of a sexual nature between staff, or between staff and students.

2. UoK staff exhibiting amorous behavior with students or subordinates and exploiting relationships with subordinates, staff or students for sexual ends.

3. UoK staff using their position of power to elicit sexual or monetary gratification from students in order to confer marks or similar benefits to them.

4. UoK staff conferring undue favours to influence subordinate staff or students to yield to sexual desires. Any such behavior will be interpreted as sexual misconduct even in situations where the subordinate staff or student initiates the sexual advances.

5. Sexual assault of any form, whether in brick-and-mortar or digital/virtual spaces.

6. Sexually-exploitative and degrading behaviour.

7. Retaliatory and abusive behaviours directed towards either former relationship partners or individuals who have rejected the sexual advances of one another.

8. Sexual intimidation.

The Policy categorizes all sexual misconduct breaches as major offences and prescribes summary dismissal and subsequent criminal prosecution as punishment for offenders.

The Academic Integrity, Sexual Misconduct and Plagiarism Policy notwithstanding, “No Sexual Harassment” stickers are posted at all offices, classrooms and common spaces at the University’s campuses in Kigali and Musanze not only to inform, sensitize and reassure staff and students of UoK’s commitment to ensuring safe campuses devoid of sexual misconduct, but also to encourage them to report sexual misconduct cases for immediate action.

This approach is supported by the establishment of effective reporting lines including the offices of the University Counsellor and Dean of Students – who receive complaints from students and the Human Resource Manager – who receives complaints from staff. These offices are well-equipped to discharge their duties with optimum speed and professionalism in order to punish offenders, protect and ensure safety for victims.

Academic integrity is founded upon and encompasses values such as honesty, trust, fairness, respect, professionalism, customer responsiveness and responsibility. The ability of University of Kigali to support and affirm these values is therefore paramount to promoting and maintaining an elevated level of academic integrity at the university.

Consequently, UoK ensures that each member of the academic community accounts for his or her actions in the process of nurturing students to acquire the responsibilities of citizenship and how to ethically as well as meaningfully contribute to their respective professions. This is because UoK firmly believes that knowledge must be acquired and rigorously evaluated. It must be pursued under conditions free from dishonesty. Accordingly, deceit and misrepresentations are regarded as offences at University of Kigali and punishable by dismissal.

University of Kigali will open registration for the January 2023 Intake on November 1, 2022. Apply and get the UoK Advantage!

Apply online via: mis.uok.ac.rw/apply

Call: +250 788 303 386/ +250 789 009 221

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.uok.ac.rw

UoK has established measures to curb sexual harassment.