Stonewall has recently updated its University guide to show how LGBT friendly the UK’s 157 universities are. Each university is scored against a ten-point checklist which has been compiled from information available on university and students’ union websites. These are:
– Anti-homophobic bullying policy and mandatory training
– Student sexual orientation monitoring
– Explicit welfare support and info for LGB students
– Society for LGB students
– Events for LGB students
– Consultation with LGB students
– Specific career advice for LGB students
– LGB Staff Network
– Stonewall Diversity Champion
– Engagement with the wider community
Surprisingly, only 40 universities were seen to address LGBT issues with an average score of just 4.5 out of 10. Out of these institutions only 2 universities, Liverpool John Moores University and Cardiff University were awarded a full 10 out of 10 by Stonewall. The top 21 universities are all working with Stonewall through the Diversity Champions programme which helps employers to support gay staff.
Stonewall Head of Education Wes Streeting said: “With universities charging £9,000 fees, it’s right to expect them to provide a high quality experience for all students, including those who are lesbian, gay or bisexual”.
Liverpool John Moores University was the second highest-ranking university in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers List 2013 and the 28th most gay-friendly employer overall. Liverpool John Moores offers an LGBT network which acts as a social and support network for LGBT staff and contributes to policy developments and raises awareness of LGBT equality. The network is open to all LGBT staff, student representatives, straight allies and external partner organisations
A quick search of ‘LGBT’ on Liverpool John Moores website and there are 83 results for LGBT news and events, and information relating to LGBT History Month, LGBT Staff Newsletters, their work with Stonewall, and the university’s LGBT network.
Liverpool John Moores University also has a LGBT society with the vibrant Liverpool gay scene on its doorstep and Manchester gay scene a short train journey away.
Cardiff University is widely regarded as one of the best universities in Wales, and ranks 55th in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers list 2013. Cardiff boasts an ‘LGBT Plus’ society, that provides advice, support and arranges social events throughout the year. The city of Cardiff has recently started running alternative music nights such as ‘Hell’s Bent’ and ‘Femme Fatale’ and the scene is by far the best in Wales, with a good number of great venues such as Bar Icon, Kings, Pulse and Wow.
Cardiff University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan said: “Supporting our LGBT+ students and providing an inclusive and welcoming student experience is of vital importance to Cardiff University and I am delighted that the Stonewall Gay by Degree guide has marked us so highly. We will continue to do everything we can to reinforce our commitment in this area.”
Wes Streeting added “We hope that the findings from this year’s exercise prompts action by the higher education sector to properly monitor the experience of gay students from the point of application through to graduation.”
Visit www.gaybydegree.org.uk for a full list of all universities along with their score, and detailed information on their work with the LGBT community.