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  • Brave Space Collective exists to re-imagine and reform the broken complaints
    system in Higher Education to prioritise student dignity
    and safety over institutional reputation.
  • "A renewed and concerted effort is required across all
    UK universities and colleges to make Jewish students
    safe and feel safe on campus”
    Tackling Antisemitism in the UK 2022 – Renewing the Commitment.
    Report by HM Government’s Independent Adviser on Antisemitism
  • “The NUS found that one in four Muslim students would not report an
    Islamophobic incident, either to their university or police. This was due
    to a lack of trust in their institution to respond appropriately”
    The experience of Muslim students in 2017–18.
    National Union of Students Report (2018)
  • This university was more bothered about covering the
    incident up to maintain a "spotless" reputation, than it
    was about tackling racism, sexism, or homophobia.
    ‘Tackling racial harassment: Universities challenged', 2019,
    A report by The Equality and Human Rights Commission

Our Strategic Priorities

  1. Oversee the implementation and enforcement of a transformed complaints process that delivers transparency, accountability and redress for students.
  2. Provide professionally facilitated group support sessions to students who are undergoing a complaint of racism including Antisemitism and Islamophobia at university. To book a space on a group support session head over to the Book a Support Session page.
  3. Build a movement of student unions and organisations who share our values and aims by working together to create enough momentum to force the institutional change that is needed across the sector.

Our Vision

Recognising the trauma, anxiety, and harm that the complaints process causes to students from marginalised communities, our vision is a Higher Education sector that prioritises student dignity, safety and rights over institutional reputation and self-interest.

Our Values

Student Centred

We believe that the only way forward is to centre the voices, experiences and expertise of the students harmed by the complaints process in creating the change that is needed.


We are at our best when we are intersectional; inclusive and diverse.


We are taking on historical power structures in institutions that continue to resist meaningful change. We will not be daunted by the challenge ahead.


We will have the most impact when we work collaboratively and creatively as part of a network of student unions, organisations and individuals with shared goals and values.


We are not perfect. We are at the beginning of our journey. We strive to learn, take constructive feedback, and grow together.


We value ourselves and each other. The demoralising effects of navigating complaints processes can erode the confidence and self-esteem of students. Through our campaigning work and support sessions we will reclaim and defend these rights.

Our Aims


We are here to disrupt the status quo and fundamentally alter power relations within universities. We do not need any more data or reports by universities or sector bodies telling us what the problem is. We need to bring about the action that is lacking…not another framework or report of ‘recommendations’.


We want universities to take the lead in acknowledging that institutional complaints processes for racism including antisemitism and Islamophobia cause harm, trauma and anxiety to those who enter them. This will take investment and commitment and means leaders prioritising taking action and accountability, in order to bring about systemic change.

Systems Change

The structures and systems within universities, as well as the people who work within them consistently create environments that prevent students getting the justice they deserve. We will work with individuals and organisations to challenge the mindsets and imbalances of power which underpin policy development, the allocation of resources and practices.

Communities of Care

Systemic change will not happen overnight. While we work to create change, we understand that students need support in the here and now. We are committed to creating communities of care facilitated by professionals where students can come together in solidarity and support as they navigate the stifling bureaucracy and violence of the university complaints process.

To blaze a trail

Often with social change it’s hard for people to see what a better alternative looks like. By starting at a small number of student unions, we hope to show activists and students unions across the sector that if it can be done ‘here’ then it can be done ‘there’.

Our Story

Brave Space Collective was started in August 2021 by Irfan Zaman who decided something needed to be done about the complacency and reluctance of the Higher Education sector in dealing with student complaints of racism and sexual misconduct.

The campaign grew to encompass a group of former students from Goldsmiths; Dominica, Isabelle, Ellen, Janki, Maya, Faith and two former Sabbatical Officers, Tara and Ben from Cambridge Students Union.

One in four of the black and other ethnic minority students surveyed in a recent report (1,600 in total) had experienced racial harassment since their course started. One in 20 students said they had left their course because of it. Two-thirds of students who said they had experienced racial harassment did not report it to their university, with many believing that the university wouldn’t take it seriously
Tackling racial harassment: Universities challenged, 2019, A report by The Equality and Human Rights Commission