A LAW firm dealing with complaints of harassment from students at Oxford University has called for relationships between staff and students to be banned.

London-based McAllister Olivarius said in July this year a female student lodged a complaint against a professor at the university and is one of six who have contacted it.

Lawyer Ann Olivarius said: “Six different women have called complaining about sexual harassment by male faculty members.

“Middle-aged men of a certain type seem to think that it is OK to sleep with female students. I would certainly like to see it banned. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen at other universities but it seems to be a raging problem at Oxford.

“I did my doctorate there in 1978 and then people accepted this as part of the landscape. You still hear the same old stories now.”

She added that some female complainants have been given letters of recommendation by staff members with whom they have done no academic work, adding: “Many of the women think their career is over if they go public.”

An Oxford University spokesman said: “There is no evidence of a widespread problem of sexual harassment at Oxford University. The university always takes allegations about harassment extremely seriously when instances arise.

“All Oxford staff are now strongly and clearly advised against close personal or intimate relationships with students. Such relationships can create great difficulties through the power imbalance between the staff member and student. Such relationships can also disrupt the educational environment for other students and staff. Oxford will remain vigilant for incidents of sexual harassment or gender inequality.”