NUS have launched a survey in order to gain a better understanding and insight into student's knowledge of prejudiced or bias motivated incidents, most commonly known as hate crimes.
The survey, which is the first of its kind in the UK, will seek to gather information from anyone who has ever been prejudiced against because of race, religion or disability.
It is hoped that victims of assault due of gender or sexual orientation and those who have received verbal abuse via text message will also participate.
A spokesman for NUS explained: “The purpose of the survey is to explore students' knowledge, understanding, and experiences of prejudiced or bias-motivated incidents – more commonly known as hate incidents.
"A hate incident is any incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by hostility or prejudice based on the victim’s race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
Research has shown that students are more at risk of being victims or offenders of hate crimes than other members of the public.
There is hope that this new research will help the NUS to understand and aim to prevent such incidents occurring on campuses.
The confidential survey, which is funded by the Home Office, will ask a wide range of questions about your experiences of verbal abuse and threatening communication to experiences of physical violence and property damage.
However, the survey is not only for students who have been a victim of hate crime and NUS are urging all students to take part in order to gain a better understanding of the bigger picture.
NUS is a voluntary membership organisation which represents the interests of more than seven million students. In light of the findings which shall be published in May, the NUS hopes to be able to provide more support for victims and above all educate students.
All participants in the survey will be entered in a prize draw to win £250. The survey is open to students in the UK until 2 February 2011.