Crime and prejudice: exploring the victimisation of undergraduate students

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Whilst the area of young people and crime has been the focus of much academic research, the specific issue of the victimisation of university students has remained relatively under-examined. Based on a survey of 1,215 undergraduate students studying in UK higher education institutions, this paper examines the levels and nature of student victimisation alongside students' rationalisations for falling victim to crime whilst at university. These data reflect a sense that crime is an underlying feature of undergraduate student life in the UK, with just under a third of the surveyed students reporting being a victim of crime during their previous three-month term at university. Moreover, the qualitative data from the survey showed victimisation to be an often accepted element of student life. Whilst the data highlight some obvious practical opportunities for university and crime reduction organisations to address these patterns of victimisation, any significant amelioration will not be achieved without fundamentally changing undergraduates' expectations and understandings of the student lifestyle as well as the prevailing routine activities and ‘student cultures’ which underpin their often submissive responses to being victims of crime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-222
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Review of Victimology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • crime
  • survey
  • undergraduate
  • university
  • victim

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