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Top gay-friendly universities are revealed

A recent report by gay rights charity Stonewall has revealed how gay-friendly British universities are.

The survey ranked 158 British universities on how well they successfully help and welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

Named Gay By Degree 2015, the report awarded full marks to six universities for their positive support to LGBT students; Cardiff University, Liverpool John Moores, Sheffield Hallam, University of Essex, University of Glasgow and York St. John taking the top spots with full marks.

The universities have been scored on ten criteria, including whether there are societies and events for LGBT students, whether there are policies in place to tackle homophobic bullying and the steps they take to support gay staff members.

In the original launch guide of 2010, no university scored ten out of ten, whilst this year six universities were awarded the top position.

The report revealed that 85 per cent of universities have a student society for LGBT students, and 72 per cent hold and publicise regular events for lesbian, gay and bisexual students.

However, just 22 per cent of universities successfully monitor students’ sexual orientation and only 20 per cent engage with the wider community on lesbian, gay and bisexual issues.

Stonewall admitted that many universities still fail to sufficiently support LGBT students, with 11 institutions failing to meet any of the criteria.

This report comes in light of a recent NUS report which revealed that homophobia on university campus is still rife, with one in five LGBT students admitting they have been bullied on campus.

One in three LGBT young people have also reported that they worry about going to university because they think that the bullying they experienced in school will continue.

Stonewall Head of Education, Wes Streeting, said: “With universities charging £9000 fees, it’s right to expect them to provide a high quality experience for all students, including those who are lesbian, gay or bisexual.

“This year, we’ve unapologetically introduced stricter criteria to encourage universities to improve provision for students.”

The University of Manchester scored positively on eight out of the ten criteria on the checklist, excluding ‘explicit welfare support and info for LGBT students’ and ‘student sexual orientation monitoring’.

Chief executive Ruth Hunt said, “It’s particularly concerning that only 35 universities are monitoring students’ sexual orientation, leaving them no way of telling if they’re providing a positive experience for gay students.

“Although many lesbian, gay and bisexual students have a positive university experience, far too many still report experiencing homophobia or biphobia or a lack of support when they get there. We hope that this year’s guide prompts universities to do more to make campuses a welcoming place for all students.”

Tags: Gay By Degree, LGBTQ, Stonewall, university

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