There is no formal ban on staff being in relationships with students they do not have direct responsibilities forLouis Ashworth for Varsity

Cambridge has introduced a ban on some staff student relationships, in a tightening of previous restrictions, while the University’s policy remains looser than many others.

The new rules prohibit any intimate relationships between students and staff who have any “direct or indirect academic responsibilities, or other direct professional responsibilities, in relation to a student”.

There is no formal ban on staff being in relationships with students they do not have direct responsibilities for, but the policy does urge academics to “act in a way which safeguards student welfare”.

Staff student relationships were previously allowed at Cambridge, so long as a relationship was disclosed by the staff member. These relationships were actively discouraged by the University.

The policy remains more lenient than that of other UK Universities; University College London, the University of Exeter, the University of Nottingham, and the University of Oxford all have a complete ban on any student-staff relationships.

Academics have previously caused controversy for pursuing relationships with undergraduate students. In 2022 Varsity reported on multiple accounts of fellows matching with students as young as 18 on dating apps.


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The policy will come into place on July 1st, with staff being given a one month amnesty to admit any current or past liaisons with students, the Telegraph has reported.

A spokesperson for the University of Cambridge told Varsity: “The new policy on staff and student relationships follows an extensive consultation across the University involving staff and student representatives, Departments and Colleges. It also takes into consideration the views of the regulator, the Office for Students, and Universities UK.”

“The policy significantly strengthens the existing approach. From July 1st, intimate relationships will be prohibited between staff and students where the staff member has any professional responsibility for that student, as defined in the policy,” they continued.