University vice chancellor apologises to victims of 'rape group chat' scandal

  • The vice chancellor of Warwick University has 'wholeheartedly apologised' for mistakes made over the handling of the 'rape group chat' scandal.

  • The apology follows an independent review of the university's disciplinary processes.

The vice chancellor of Warwick University has issued an apology to the victims of a scandal over obscene phone messages.

The University suspended 11 male students in May last year, after screenshots of a group message chat emerged in which users joked about rape and used racial slurs.

Vice chancellor Stuart Croft said the university made mistakes in its handling of the situation.

Warwick University Credit: ITV News Central

Warwick University published an open letter from the vice chancellor.

Many of you will be aware that, following the events surrounding the group chat in February this year, the University’s Council commissioned an independent external review into our student disciplinary and appeals processes, including those relating to sexual misconduct. The review was led by Dr Sharon Persaud, and today we are publishing her independent external review in full.

Stuart Croft, Warwick University vice chancellor
Vice chancellor Stuart Croft has apologised over the way the investigation was handled. Credit: ITV News Central

The apology follows an independent review of the university's disciplinary processes, which accused Warwick of being more concerned about its own reputation than properly investigating the case.

The university has released a five-point action plan to implement changes based on the findings of the report.

The five key areas it will focus on are:

  • Transparency - identifying a clear reporting structure and timetable to provide the Warwick community with timely updates on progress

  • Policies - developing current policies relating to student discipline and expected behaviours to reflect the university's revised values

  • Process - reviewing all current process and procedures relating to student discipline against the report’s recommendations

  • Embedding - working across the Warwick community to ensure values and expected behaviours sit firmly within

  • Communications - improving communication of expected behaviours and better signpost policies that reflect this