Sexual misconduct

Published Date: 03 November 2020 09:00 PM

News Parliamentary Replies

NAME AND CONSTITUENCY OF MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

Mr Lim Biow Chuan, Mountbatten

QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Education whether autonomous universities can provide clear communications with their students whenever there are allegations of misconduct involving teaching staff and students so that students can be better protected.

RESPONSE

1. The question raised by Mr Lim Biow Chuan follows the recent media coverage of the case involving a former teaching staff at the National University of Singapore (NUS) who was dismissed for being in an intimate relationship with an undergraduate, which is a clear contravention of NUS’s Code of Conduct for staff. Given the undergraduate’s allegations of sexual misconduct against the individual, a Police report was made and the investigation is underway.

TRANSPARENCY IN COMMUNICATIONS

2. Where allegations of serious misconduct are made, the IHLs will immediately require the accused individual to stay away from campus temporarily, if they assess that the alleged offender may pose a danger to any member of their community. If the case involves a student or staff from the same institution, the IHLs may also impose a No-Contact Order to ensure that the alleged offender is prohibited from contacting or being in the vicinity of the party making the allegations.

3. A Police report is typically made for allegations of serious misconduct, and where the alleged offender is proven and charged in court, this will be a matter of public record.

4. Separately, the IHLs also conduct their own internal investigations to determine if the alleged offender has breached their Code of Conduct. Those who do so are subject to disciplinary sanctions, including possible suspension or expulsion of students, or dismissal of staff.

5. In the course of addressing allegations, MOE expects institutions to be open and timely in their communications, while taking into consideration the facts of the case, the need to ensure the safety of their communities and safeguard the well-being and privacy of victims and other members of the community who are directly impacted, and the need to ensure that Police investigations are not impacted.

6. MOE will continue to work closely with the IHLs to ensure that the well-being and safety of students and staff on campus are protected.

Share this article: