The number of racist incidents in universities across the UK has surged by more than 60 per cent in two years
The data, from freedom of information requests, has prompted calls for universities to do more to tackle racism amid concerns that the numbers could be much worse due to underreporting.
An analysis by The Independent has found that 129 alleged incidents of racism were reported to UK universities in 2017, compared to 80 incidents in 2015, a rise of 61 per cent.
And in just one year, the number of complaints about racism from university students and staff rose by nearly a quarter (23 per cent), the figures show, with 105 incidents reported in 2016.
Of the 94 universities who provided comparable data, nearly two in five (37 per cent) institutions have seen the number of incidents of racism increase over the past two years.
But the scale of the problem is even greater, according to the NUS who argue that the rise in reports can be attributed to the efforts of student officers running intolerance campaigns on campuses.
The data, requested by The Independent, also reveals that the number of religiously motivated hate crime incidents at universities doubled in the same period, from six in 2015 to 12 in 2017.
Over three years, antisemitic and/or islamophobic incidents were reported to 26 UK universities, including several Russell Group institutions such as Durham, Newcastle and Exeter.