Chevening Scholar and Fellow Code of Conduct and incident reporting guidance

Chevening Scholar and Fellow Code of Conduct and incident reporting guidance

Chevening awardees belong to a unique group of future leaders from around the world who have been personally selected by the UK government to study in the UK. Whilst in the UK you are an ambassador for both Chevening and for your home country and your actions should reflect and uphold the values of Chevening.

All members of the Chevening community – awardees, staff, partners and contacts – have the right and responsibility to live and work beside each other in conditions which permit open dialogue within a framework of respect.

All Chevening Scholars and Fellows are expected to adhere to the Chevening Code of Conduct whether in person, online or on digital media, under the Chevening terms and conditions.

The Chevening Code of Conduct supplements but does not replace codes in place at universities. If an incident relates to an individual at their university, the complainant should use their university’s reporting process first, as indicated in the guidance below on what to do if you experience discrimination and harassment.

What we expect from you

You must abide by UK laws, and it is your responsibility to know what is acceptable.

We expect all Chevening Scholars and Fellows to be treated, and to treat each other, with dignity and respect regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation, as laid out in the Equality Act (2010).

All incidents of sexual misconduct, harassment, bullying, or hate crime are regarded as extremely serious.

Sexual misconduct in any form is unacceptable and is taken very seriously. Sexual misconduct includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse and any conduct of a sexual nature that is without consent, including conduct online or through social media.

We ask that all scholars read the social media and messaging policy in full. This sets out our expectations for scholar conduct in these spaces. The Chevening Secretariat moderates official channels listed in the policy. As per this policy (18.), if you take it upon yourself to administer an unofficial online group containing members of the Chevening community, you also assume responsibility for ensuring that the spirit of the Chevening programme is upheld in those spaces.

After your award ends and you become a Chevening alumnus, you are expected to uphold the Chevening Alumni Charter.

What you can expect from us

All incidents of misconduct will be taken extremely seriously and could result in an individual being removed from the programme.

Victims of crime should report this to the UK police. The Chevening Secretariat may report to the UK police or emergency services any allegation that a criminal offence has been committed or where there is a risk of harm.

Where there has been an instance of misconduct between Chevening award-holders, this should be reported to your Programme Officer.

Where an instance of misconduct involves a member of Chevening Secretariat staff, this should be reported to your Programme Officer or to the Head of Programme Management ([email protected]). The Chevening Secretariat is required to report misconduct involving a member of its staff to the UK Charity Commission.

If the instance of misconduct involves a Chevening alumnus this should also be reported to your Programme Officer or to the Head of Programme Management. Chevening alumni are expected to uphold the Alumni Charter, and failure to do so may result in exclusion from the Chevening community. Serious incidents should be reported to law enforcement in the country within which the alumnus resides.

Allegations of misconduct will be considered by senior management at the Secretariat in collaboration with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Information relating to allegations will be treated sensitively and confidentially.

What to do if you experience discrimination or harassment

Your experience

What you can do

I was the victim of a crime in the UK. Report to the British police. If you are in danger or need immediate medical attention call 999. To report a less urgent crime you can call 101 or report a crime online.Secondly, you can inform your Programme Officer at the Chevening Secretariat if you are comfortable doing so.
I experienced harassment, bullying or discrimination from a staff member or student (including other Chevening scholars) at my university. Report the incident to your university. If you are unsure how to do this, you can contact your Student Services office for guidance.Secondly, you can inform your Programme Officer at the Chevening Secretariat if you are comfortable doing so. Please inform you PO if the incident involves another Chevening scholar.
I experienced harassment, bullying or discrimination at a Chevening event, online or in person, from another Chevening scholar, partner or staff member. Inform a Chevening staff member on site or in an online event immediately. You may also contact the Head of Programme Management at Chevening: [email protected]
I experienced harassment, bullying or discrimination from another Chevening scholar, alumnus or Chevening staff member, including by digital means. Inform a Chevening staff member on site or in an online event immediately. You may also contact the Head of Programme Management at Chevening: [email protected]
I experienced harassment, bullying or discrimination from a member of the public You can call the British police on 101 or report a crime online.The police define hate crime and hate incidents here.Secondly, you can inform your Programme Officer at the Chevening Secretariat if you are comfortable doing so.

When you report an incident to Chevening, you can expect Chevening Secretariat staff to:

  • take seriously any allegation against Chevening scholars, staff or alumni;
  • treat all scholars fairly and respectfully;
  • manage your personal information carefully and sensitively, and in accordance with UK data protection legislation;
  • where an incident involves other parties outside the Chevening community, or where it is a crime, Chevening staff will support you to secure the information you need to report the incident to the British police, or to your university;
  • where an incident is serious, or involves staff, the Secretariat is required to report this to the Charity Commission. Reporting on scholars is anonymised.

The Chevening Secretariat has no investigative powers. For example, staff cannot request personal information from individuals against whom allegations are made or investigate private correspondence outside of Chevening-managed groups.

Serious incidents must be reported to the police. For information on law enforcement and tips on personal safety in the UK, please review this page on the Chevening website.

Chevening’s Commitment to Equality and Diversity

In 2020 Chevening developed a two-year equality and diversity action plan to explore how we can continue to support our diverse community.

We commit to the following:

  • Completing a mapping exercise informed by surveys, focus groups and case studies to understand our awardees’ experiences of discrimination or harassment
  • Developing recommendations regarding actions we can take to support awardees through instances of harassment and discrimination, and how we can minimise instances of it within the Chevening community
  • Sharing our findings with the UK university community to support cross-sector understanding of the experiences of international postgraduate scholarship students

We will share updates on this action plan with the current cohort of Chevening scholars.