Updates to the University's staff-student relationships policy

An updated University policy on staff-student relationships will come into effect on 17 April 2023. Until this date the old policy remains in effect and staff must comply with it.

Positive professional relationships between staff and students are crucial for students’ educational development and welfare. However, intimate or close personal relationships between staff and students they have responsibility for can cause significant problems. Staff found to be in breach of the revised policy should expect to face disciplinary action.

In line with the revised policy, staff who have any responsibility for a current student (including applicants) are:

  1. Prohibited from entering into an intimate relationship with that student;
  2. Strongly discouraged from any other close personal relationship with them which transgresses the boundaries of professional conduct.

If, when the policy comes into effect, a staff member is already in (or has previously been in) a relationship outlined above, they must notify their Head of Department by 17 June 2023 at the latest (even if the responsibility for the student has ended) so that appropriate protective steps can be taken.  

The policy relates to all University staff, including those on joint appointments, casual paid workers, and those with access to University privileges and facilities (such as visiting academics). It also covers graduate students if they work for the University in a teaching, pastoral or supervisory role. 

The full policy is available at: Staff-student relationships | HR Support (ox.ac.uk).

Please note that until 17 April 2023, the existing policy remains in effect and staff must comply with it.