A Nouse investigation has revealed that University records show only six student suicides having taken place in the last ten years. However management has conceded that “it does not keep statistics on suicides” and this information “is not routinely recorded”.
The statistic has been widely queried, with students alleging that up to as many as six students may have taken their lives in the last three years alone. A third year commented that “the number seems quite low – I’m confident that in my three years alone the University has seen this many student suicides. However there are obviously complications in monitoring such a statistic.”
In its response to a request for the information, the University has declared that it “does its best to keep track of student deaths” and that the numbers given relate to cases the University knows of where the inquest verdict was suicide.
“The University does not keep statistics on suicides, but while this is not routinely recorded as a statistic, the University does its best to keep track of student deaths,” the reply reads.
“It cannot give a categorical confirmation that there are no other student deaths with a suicide verdict in that period, because no reliable source of comprehensive data is available to it.”
It follows reports that half of all ambulance call outs to the University have been for self-harm or suicide related incidents in the first month of 2016, with such incidents accounting for 32 per cent of all callouts in 2015.
University Registrar and Secretary David Duncan clarified, “We are of course aware of any sudden deaths of students. The decision on whether or not a sudden death is a suicide is a matter for the coroner’s inquest, which sometimes happens some considerable time after the death. A member of staff attends the inquest and reports back to senior colleagues on the outcome.”