Event: ‘HJS Report Launch – Mitigating the Risks? Compliance with the Prevent Duty on Campus’


TIME: 13:00 – 14:00, 21st March 2017

VENUE: Committee Room 5, House of Commons
Palace of Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA


Rupert Sutton
Research Fellow, Henry Jackson Society

Jessica Trahar
Head of Strategic Development,
Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)

Sam Slack
Regional Higher Education Prevent Coordinator,
Department of Education

For a summary of this event click here

The risk of radicalisation facing individuals within the higher education sector has long been recognised by government, and in 2015 the Counter Terrorism and Security Act  imposed a duty on institutions to have “due regard to the need to prevent individuals from being drawn into terrorism” – known as the ‘Prevent Duty’. While a noisy student campaign and small number of Vice-Chancellors have publically questioned the Prevent Duty’s compatibility with freedom of speech, it appears most universities are in fact taking the issue seriously and working hard to ensure they comply with their regulatory responsibilities.

By kind invitation of Jim Fitzpatrick MP, The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to an event with Rupert Sutton, Jessica Trahar and Sam Slack. They will examine the new HJS report ‘Mitigating the Risks? An Assessment of University Speaker Policies’ which analyses external speaker policies from 76 English institutions and measures them against guidelines outlined in a Model External Speaker Policy released by HJS in May 2016. They will discuss how institutions have responded to their new legal responsibilities, and how the sector will be regulated in the coming years, as well as asking: how can we help individual institutions fulfil their legal responsibilities and overcome the challenges they face?

Rupert Sutton is a Research Fellow at The Henry Jackson Society, where he focuses on domestic security issues and runs the ‘Student Rights‘ campaign, which focuses on extremism on university campuses. He is the author of ‘Challenging Extremists: Practical Frameworks for our Universities’ and ‘Preventing Prevent: Challenges to Counter-radicalisation Policy on Campus’, both of which sought to examine the difficulties faced by the higher education sector in addressing on-campus extremism and present workable solutions. He has written for publications including The Times, The Telegraph, Haaretz, and World Affairs, and has presented his research at the British and European Parliaments. Rupert has an MA in Terrorism and Security from King’s College London and a BA in War Studies from the University of Kent.

Jessica Trahar is Head of Strategic Development at HEFCE and leads the HEFCE Prevent team who have responsibility for monitoring the higher education sector’s implementation of the Prevent Duty. HEFCE is designated as monitor for Prevent by the Department for Education. Jessica has worked for HEFCE for ten years in a variety of senior policy roles, including leading policy development on student numbers and teaching funding and widening participation initiatives. More recently, she worked as Executive Adviser to the HEFCE Chief Executive where amongst other things, she led the development and implementation of the organisation’s current strategy and business plan.

Sam Slack has been the regional HE/FE Prevent Coordinator for the Dept for Education (formerly BIS) covering the East Midlands since 2013, but for the last two years has also been covering the North East of England. Sam has worked with universities, colleges and huge range of independent training providers during this time supporting them to understand and embed the Prevent Strategy and, more recently, the Statutory Duty. Throughout this time Sam has undertaken work regionally and nationally in relation to the management of external speakers. Sam is currently studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Understanding Radicalisation at the University of Derby & has previously undertaken terrorism studies with Leiden University, Maryland University & University of Tel Aviv.


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