University of Oxford Guidance on Demonstrations or Protests

The University of Oxford supports its students and staff to respectfully share, debate and challenge views and positions on a wide range of issues, and we uphold freedom of speech within the law as set out in the University’s statement on freedom of speech

The University believes that a culture of free, open and robust discussion can be achieved only if all concerned engage critically but courteously with each other. The University does not tolerate any form of harassment or victimisation and expects all members of the University community, its visitors and contractors to treat each other with respect, courtesy and consideration. For details see the University Policy on Harassment. The University is committed to fostering an inclusive culture which promotes equality, values diversity and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all members of the University community are respected. 

The following guidance is intended to ensure that student and staff protests can be conducted safely for all members of the University community and the public, and to reduce the likelihood of protesters breaching University regulations and becoming subject to disciplinary action. 

When arranging and taking part in a protest 
Please do: 

  • consult with the Proctors’ Office ahead of any protest via 
  • clearly communicate information about the protest to the participants, including any relevant University guidance 
  • keep access routes clear, particularly for emergency vehicles 
  • clear away any litter 
  • consider the needs of your fellow students who may be preparing for or sitting examinations
  • show respect and courtesy to staff and members of the public. 

Please do not: 

  • use intimidating, abusive, threatening or illegal language via communications, placards, banners, posters, chants, or other means 
  • disrupt, or seek to disrupt, any teaching, research or other University business, or occupy any University buildings 
  • disrupt, or seek to disrupt, other events taking place on University premises by preventing speakers from talking or people from attending, or by doing anything that is designed to prevent the event taking place successfully 
  • damage any University or other property as part of your protest, either intentionally or carelessly 
  • undertake any other activities that could be considered in breach of UK legislation.

Further information can also be found under the code of practice on meetings and events

If you need to seek further advice from the Proctors’ Office please contact:

View a PDF version of this guidance