The education sector is the latest under fire for inappropriate relationships, with University Australia calling for a student-teacher bonk ban.
The education sector is the latest under fire for inappropriate relationships, with University Australia calling for a student-teacher bonk ban. Thinkstock

USC reacts to student-teacher 'bonk ban' demands

THE University of the Sunshine Coast is among the institutions urged to introduce a "bonk ban" on PhD students and supervisors.

A year after the Change the Course report found 54 per cent of the USC's students had experienced sexual harassment, University Australia has released new guidelines to combat sexual harassment and assault.

The principles for respectful supervisory relationships highlight the power imbalance in a student-teacher relationship, and advise if one occurs the supervisor be immediately removed and replaced from their teaching role with that student.

The proposed ban would extend to honours and post-graduate coursework students.

The Australian Human Rights Commission report found of the USC students who experienced harassment in 2016, 10 per cent identified a tutor or lecturer as the perpetrator.

A USC spokesman yesterday said they welcomed the "principles for respectful supervisory relationships" which they would use to review and fine-tune relevant existing policies and procedures.

They said USC has a staff code of conduct that explicitly addresses the conflicts of interest and inappropriate nature of personal, including sexual, relationships between supervisors and students.

"Under the code, staff are required to immediately cease any decision-making role in respect to a student when a relationship begins."

The education sector is the latest to come under fire for misbehaviour by people in power after the Barnaby Joyce love-child scandal spurred the Prime Minister to introduce a bonk ban for Ministers and their staff.

USC has updated the Australian Human Rights Commission and Universities Australia on its progress this past year.

More than 75 students were trained as Consent is Sexy ambassadors; specialist-trained staff are the single point of contact for students making reports via Student Wellbeing and a range of other policies were introduced and are available online.