THE UNIVERSITY of Sussex is considering forcing all students to have mandatory lessons in consent after a survey revealed 96% of girls had been groped on nights out.

The shocking survey found that Sussex had the worst rate of all universities in the UK for students encountering sexual harassment.

The university currently offers voluntary courses on consent - but told The Argus it was considering making the courses compulsory in light of concerns about sexual harassment.

A spokeswoman for the university said: "Consent workshops are available to students at Sussex and we fund two consent co-ordinators to run these sessions.

"Mandatory courses for all students are currently being considered and we are discussing this with students and the relevant experts.

"It's the responsibility of our whole campus community to keep our students as safe as possible and provide support."

The survey, by Student website The Tab, was revealed as the Sussex Students Union called for nightclubs to sign up to a charter to protect students on nights out in the city centre.

Students’ Union welfare officer, Grainne Gahan, expressed "great concern" that their own research showed 34 per cent of students said they had seen someone's drink spiked and 28 per cent have seen someone sexually assaulted.

Brighton venues have been asked to agree to promoting a zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment, train staff to respond to reports of harassment, display material promoting the issue of consent and to ensure there are measures to help vulnerable students leaving the property.

A spokeswoman for the University of Sussex added: "We are understandably very concerned to learn of these survey results from The Tab - and we want to speak to the team there at the earliest opportunity to learn more about the methodology used and the sample size.

"At Sussex we put a major emphasis on working with the Students' Union and local agencies to improve the safety of our students when they are socialising off campus and in bars and nightclubs - as well as on our own campus.

"Providing ways to grow awareness of sexual consent is a top priority and we have just run a comprehensive campaign with all students on exactly this. "We know this is an important issue that affects young people up and down the country and it's one we take extremely seriously at Sussex."

"The university is about to undertake a new training programme for staff on how to best assist students who may need to disclose instances of sexual harassment - a programme of activity developed with Brunel University."