SYDNEY, Nov 29 - Former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick has made 23 recommendations for five colleges in her report which examined sexual harassment and assault on campus.

Broderick handed over her report on Wednesday after an 18-month review acknowledging it was never easy "to hold the mirror up" and "face difficult issues".

The report found seven per cent of students had been sexually assaulted, while one in four said they had been sexually harassed.

Broderick also recommended an explicitly worded stand-alone zero tolerance policy on sexual misconduct, an online module on consent for all new students in 2018, staff to be trained in responding to sexual violence and a single helpline for survivors and witnesses to incidents.

The report recommended reducing access to alcohol at colleges, and that at least 40 per cent of staff leadership roles should be women.

Women's College principal Dr Amanda Bell said the five colleges had accepted all recommendations and had begun implementing them.

"We acknowledge incidents have occurred in the past and today individually and collectively we commit to change," Bell said.

The report was commissioned last year by the university and five of its colleges - the female Sancta Sophia and Women's colleges and the mixed St Andrew's, St John's and Wesley.

Broderick held 43 discussion groups, carried out 632 interviews with former and current students, and ran an online survey that 1000 students responded to.

"I want to acknowledge that students recounted distressing experiences - I want to thank all students who participated in the process," Broderick told reporters on Wednesday.

She also acknowledged the positives of college life.

Despite the findings about shortcomings on dealing with sexual misconduct, 86 per cent of students surveyed said they felt a sense of belonging at their college.

"For most college students, for most of the time, their experience is positive and rewarding," she said.

She said this was evident both in the survey data and the qualitative data.

"Students talked about receiving strong academic support, pastoral care, having access to extracurricular activities and building firm friendships - all features of college life that enriched their overall university experience."

St Paul's College had also agreed to being reviewed and findings would be released in 2018.