An overview of our safeguarding policy and how we aim to prevent radicalisation and protect freedom of speech on campus.


Our safeguarding policy

Our safeguarding policy provides protection for children, young people and adults at risk who come into contact with the University. 

It provides staff, students and volunteers with guidance on procedures that must be adopted:

  • to ensure children and adults at risk are protected
  • if they suspect children and adults at risk may be experiencing or at risk of harm.

Our policy relates to: 

  • current students
  • prospective students engaged in University of Sheffield activities
  • adults at risk who are registered or prospective students 
  • children and adults at risk engaged in engaged in University of Sheffield activities
  • children resident in University accommodation
  • staff in the course of their duties
  • external organisations or individuals we engage with (in branded activities)

A child is a person under the age of 18.

An adult at risk is a person aged 18 years or over who is, or may be, in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and is, or may be, unable to take care of or unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation.

A student at risk of harm is a person who is at risk of harm or exploitation relating to their physical, mental, psychological wellbeing or who has the potential for being drawn into criminality or terrorism.

Preventing radicalisation

Higher education institutes are required by government to have 'due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism'.

In accordance with our duties as a higher education provider, we seek to embed the British values within our institution.

Behaviours that cause concern

There are many reasons for changes which are perfectly normal. If you’re worried or see a pattern of changed behaviours, we follow a notice, check, share approach:

  • Notice – staff in front-line support roles will often be the first to notice if a student is experiencing difficulties.
  • Check – staff could speak to the student directly, or talk to colleagues/academic tutors to see if they share their concerns.
  • Share – if staff are still worried about a student, or in doubt, they should contact Student Welfare and Wellbeing ( or +44 114 222 4321).

Freedom of expression

Freedom of speech/expression is a core part of a student’s experience. We encourage students to discuss and exchange views on difficult and controversial issues.  

External speakers and events

We operate a Code of Practice relating to meetings and other activities on University premises which applies to all staff, students and visitors. This is to ensure that freedom of speech within the law and academic freedom is secured, and student and staff welfare is protected.

Messages of concern

What are messages of concern?

These could be in the form of online posts to social media sites, websites, or sent via email. Messages could also be found physically around the University campus, in the form of posters, flyers or graffiti. These should be removed if appropriate and the Student Welfare and Wellbeing team notified (contact details below).

Dependent on the content of the message, Security may be informed. If the message was found in the Student's Union building, it should be reported to the Deputy Director of Membership Engagement on +44 114 222 8520.

The content of concerning messages could include any form of harassment, extremist views or material, mentions of suicide, hate speech or incitement to violence.

The University of Sheffield does not monitor all of its social media sites all the time. Messages of concern could be reported by members of the public, the Media team, IT Services, Security, University staff or students.

What should I do if I encounter messages of concern?

  • Concerns about messages that have been posted by the University of Sheffield staff should be directed to Human Resources
  • Concerns about messages that have been posted by students should be reported to the Student Welfare and Wellbeing Team: telephone +44 114 222 4321 or email Students affected by online harassment or cyber bullying should visit the harassment web pages.
Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

International Merit Scholarships

We offer a generous package of financial support for international students including 75 undergraduate scholarships worth £10,000 towards the annual tuition fee and 125 postgraduate taught scholarships worth £5,000 towards the tuition fee. Applications are now open for existing offer holders.