British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) are delighted to launch a ‘problem initiation’ area.

This provides information on types of behaviour associated with problem initiations and offers students and parents the ability to submit a report, either anonymously or by sharing basic contact information. ­­­

Reports are anonymised before being passed to the relevant university to investigate. BUCS will receive a report on the outcome of that investigation and evaluate whether further action needs to be taken.

“Students should understand that problem initiations are not permitted by universities and will not be tolerated by BUCS” said Vince Mayne, CEO of BUCS.

“We want to ensure that sport at university is fully accessible to all and the activities of a few individuals do not stop people playing the sport they love or trying a new sport. BUCS are determined to address this negative aspect of university sport and promote the incredibly positive contribution that sport makes to the employability, health and wellbeing of thousands of students as well as the volunteering and community engagement which students carry out.”

Professor Bob Allison, the Vice-Chancellor at Loughborough University, said

“Loughborough University pledges its full support to the BUCS reporting process for problem initiations and other, equally inappropriate behaviour. Like all institutions, we have our own challenges in this area and understand the importance of students of being able to report concerns, where necessary anonymously. We also recognise the need for robust, firm and fair interventions that leave members of the University community in no doubt that such behaviour is unacceptable and has no place in Higher Education.

Sport is part of Loughborough’s DNA and plays an incredibly important role in the student experience at many different levels – from keeping fit to competing on the world stage. There must be no barriers to sport participation. Problem initiations cannot not be tolerated. My colleagues, Loughborough students and I look forward to working with BUCS to drive a change in the culture of Higher Education sport, ensuring that it is accessible as to all and a positive and integral part of life at University.”


Kevin Knibbs, Chair of HMC’s Sports Sub-Committee and Headmaster at Hampton School, said

"HMC, welcomes the efforts of BUCS to challenge disturbing and degrading initiation ceremonies in higher education institutions.

"Independent schools do a great deal to ensure our sixth formers are well prepared for university through teaching life skills, building young people’s resilience and educating them about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.  But school leavers need to know their university has a duty of care and that they will be fully supported if they refuse to participate in risky activities. The new BUCS initiative to provide a safe space for students to report unacceptable incidents anonymously is very welcome.”


Ali Oliver, Chief Executive, Youth Sport Trust said

“As a charity which works to remove the barriers that can stop young people enjoying the life-changing benefits of sport, the Youth Sport Trust strongly supports this initiative from BUCS.

“It is so important that every young person has a positive experience of sport, particularly as they transition from school to college or university. Sports clubs and societies should treasure the contribution they make to our Universities and communities being welcoming environments for all young people which foster positive social wellbeing.”

Mark Saltmarsh, Head of Education & Age Grade Rugby, England Rugby, said

“There are hundreds of thousands of people who do a superb job on and off the pitch every week of the season to live out the values of our game for the rugby and wider community.  But we still hear examples of poor behaviour in university rugby that conflict with these values and the inclusive foundations of team sport.  Whilst we acknowledge that this is not just a rugby problem or always easy to control, we are determined not to stand by and ignore it.”

“Students and universities who don’t proactively maintain our sport as inclusive, modern, friendly and accessible must expect to be challenged.  Therefore, we fully support BUCS in providing a new platform for people to safely report problem initiations and we encourage people to use the system to report such incidents.  We can then continue to work collaboratively across the sector to hold those involved accountable and make sport the enjoyable and attractive part of university life that it always should be.”

For more information, contact BUCS on:
Phone: 020 7633 5093

Share this: