Glasgow Uni comes out top for being gay friendly

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Glasgow Uni only one in Scotland to meet all of gay-friendly criteria 

22nd September 2014 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Glasgow University has been named as Scotland’s leading gay-friendly university.

The university, Scotland’s second oldest, was the only one in the country – and only one of six in the UK - to meet all 10 criteria in Stonewall’s Gay By Degree 2015 guide of gay friendly universities.

The online guide measures each university against 10 criteria to show how well they support their gay students.

The checklist includes whether the university has a policy to tackle homophobic bullying, whether there are societies and events for gay students, and what steps they take to support gay staff.

This reflects hard work by staff to ensure a supportive, positive student experience - David Newall

David Newall, sexual orientation equality champion for the University of Glasgow, said: “I am delighted that the University of Glasgow achieved top marks in Stonewall’s Gay By Degree.

“This reflects hard work by staff to ensure a supportive, positive student experience. As an organisation we have a strong working relationship with the student representatives and the LGBTQ+ student association, of which we are proud.

“There are still many challenges in this area, but we hope the Glasgow University experience is supportive and positive for all LBGT students.”

Stonewall discovered only 35 universities are monitoring student’s sexual orientation leaving them unable to know if they’re providing a positive experience for gay students.

The campaign group also says universities risk on missing out on a huge pool of talent with 7 in 10 failing to actively reach out to potential LGBT students or engage with the local community on LGB issues. 

Stonewall's education policy & campaigns officer, Hannah Kibirige said: ‘There are a record number of university places available this year and prospective students who are lesbian, gay or bisexual will want to study where they will be supported and developed.

Kibirige added: “We hope that this year’s findings prompt action by the higher education sector to consider the needs of all their students, regardless of sexual orientation.”

How to be gay-friendly
1. Have a policy that protects lesbian, gay and bisexual students from bullying and mandatory training for staff to enforce this
2. Conduct monitoring that specifically asks students about sexual orientation
3. Provide welfare support, information and resources for lesbian, gay and bisexual students
4. Have a student society for lesbian, gay and bisexual students, which must be active and publicised on the university or students’ union website
5. Run events for lesbian, gay and bisexual students, which must be publicised on the university or students’ union website
6. Consult with lesbian, gay and bisexual students – they must be included in decision-making processes within the university
7. Provide specific career advice for lesbian, gay and bisexual students
8. Have a lesbian, gay and bisexual staff network – if staff feel they can be open about their sexuality, students will too
9. Be a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, a networks of organisations sharing good practice on sexual orientation
10.Engage with the wider community – schools, colleges and youth groups or other universities – on LGB issues, and encourage prospective LGB applicants to apply