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'Intimate relationships' between teachers, students banned at Cambridge: Report

In conversation with the university newsletter a Cambridge spokesman said that the new policy has been implemented after extensive consultation across the university.
Last Updated : 16 June 2024, 14:40 IST

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Following the path of Oxford, Cambridge University too has issued a policy against intimate relationships between faculty and students.

"Pursuing or entering into an intimate relationship with any student for whom they have any direct or indirect academic responsibilities” has been forbidden by the university, reported The Telegraph. While there is no official ban on staff having relation with students that they do not teach, the varsity encourages prioritising and safeguarding student welfare.

This step comes after students and teachers at the university have been reportedly involved in intimate relationships with each other that vary from casual flirting and flings to having sexual intercourse.

In conversation with the university newsletter a Cambridge spokesman said that the new policy has been implemented after extensive consultation across the university involving staff and student representatives and it also takes the views of the regulator, the Office for Students and Universities UK in consideration.

“The close-knit community nature of the Cambridge colleges makes it very easy for students and academics to meet informally,” the publication quoted a source as saying who added that mixing with teachers, having wine or dinner from time-to-time is "part of Cambridge culture".

The report mentions one "Adonian Society" which was an invitation-only dining club.

“I’ve been told that the point of the club was made clear to everyone who attended, which was for older academics to meet young male students to have sexual relationships with," a Cambridge University graduate in his mid 20s told the paper.

25-year-old Sophie, however, does not see a problem in relationships between teachers and students, given they are both consenting.

“People bond in the intense and intellectually demanding environment of the university over shared interests and similar ways of looking at the world. Personally I don’t see this as a problem, unless the academic is directly involved in the student’s grades and academic attainment, The Telegraph quoted her as saying.

Meanwhile, a lawyer specialising in cases of sexual harassment is of the opinion that these kind of relationships are often "all about power and too often, they ruin students’ lives."

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Published 16 June 2024, 14:40 IST

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