Campaigners fear cases of sexual harassment and sex attacks on campus are being under-reported as figures reveal only a handful of cases are being recorded.

Figures obtained under a Freedom of Information request by The Times showed that nine of the 15 universities asked had recorded fewer than five cases since 2011.

Glasgow University, which has more than 24,000 students, had 12 recorded incidents, while Dundee University, which has nearly 16,000 students, recorded fewer than five incidents, The Times said.

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At Edinburgh University, which has more than 33,000 students, 49 incidents have been recorded since 2011 with 35 of them in the last academic year.

Aberdeen University, where a student killed herself last year after her boyfriend attacked and abused her, did not provide figures.

Emily Drouet, 18, a first-year law student at Aberdeen University, was found dead in her room on March 17, 2016.

Her boyfriend Angus Milligan, 21, was sentenced to community service after admitting behaving in a threatening and abusive manner towards her in March last year at a student halls of residence in Aberdeen.

Ms Drouet's mother Fiona, who now campaigns against gender based violence, told The Times: "There's real denial that the problem exists but we can't bury our heads in the sand any longer. It's not something that we should feel ashamed about or try to hide.

"Students are so young when they go to university; they've just left home and are very vulnerable. They deserve better than this."

Aberdeen University said it offers a comprehensive range of support services to students including guidance on the steps they should take when reporting incidents of domestic violence, sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

A spokesman said: "The safety and well-being of our students and staff is our number one priority, and we urge anyone who contacts the University's support services for help in these situations to report the matter to the police. In all cases we will provide our full support to those involved, for example through our confidential counselling service.

"We are continually looking at our procedures to see if there are any opportunities to enhance our approach in this area, and we are in the process of developing a policy that will aim to introduce practical interventions around violence and harassment in the student environment."

A Dundee University spokesman said: "We were asked to respond to a specific question, which we did, relating to cases reported to the University.

"We know these figures are unlikely to cover all cases, as instances of sexual assault or harassment are far more likely to be reported to authorities such as the Police.

"We have worked closely with our Students' Association on campaigns around zero tolerance of sexual harassment and creating a safe environment for our students."

Glasgow Rape Crisis centre has started to work with local universities on student workshops and staff training.

Isabelle Kerr, who runs the centre, said: "If universities know it's an issue and it's being under-reported, then let's do something about it. We've been training academic staff and also security at student halls of residence so that they can properly support students.

"Many students may not feel comfortable reporting assault to universities but the key is to introduce training, policies and guidelines that create an environment where people feel comfortable - one that sends a clear message that this behaviour is unacceptable and that we won't stand for it."

A Universities Scotland spokesman said: "Scotland's universities have been clear that there is no place for sexual violence, harassment or hate crime on a university campus, nor anywhere else.

"Universities have been very active in their approach to dealing with sexual violence and hate crimes at a UK-level and at the end of last year Universities UK published the results of its year-long taskforce into how universities should deal with this.

"The taskforce found evidence that many universities have already taken positive steps to address these issues but it also found that university responses are not always as joined-up as they could be.

"It recognised, as do we, that a low number of disclosures is not necessarily proof that students are not experiencing such incidents.

"The taskforce report - which has been circulated to all universities - made a series of recommendations and said that more work needs to be done to share effective practice across the university sector. It was generally well received by campaign groups."