56% of LGBT students cite 'not fitting in' as main reason to drop out of uni
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56% of lesbian, gay and bisexual students in the UK have named “not fitting in” at university as the main reason for wanting to drop out, according to NUS research. The nationwide study into the lives of LGBT students at the country’s universities also found that one in five has experienced bullying and/or harassment on campus. 36.7% felt safe at university, compared to 43% of heterosexual students. Slightly more gay (27.7%), lesbian (26.6%) and bisexual (30%) students were likely to consider dropping out of uni than heterosexual (25%) students, and those who had experienced a form of homophobic harassment were two to three times more likely to consider leaving their course. According to the report, which gathered case studies from the universities of London, Bangor, Nottingham, Manchester Metropolitan, University College London, the University of London and Glasgow and paired them with national survey of 4,240 students, “only 9 out of 55 (16%) of students who have experienced homophobic or transphobic physical assault reported it to the police.” Alongside not feeling like they fit in and harassment, LGBT students also cited personal, family and relationship problems as a reason for considering dropping out. Students largely said that, although counselling services worked well at their universities, they could be better publicised and more specifically tailred to their needs. Better training for staff was also suggested. Black lesbian, gay and bisexual students were also more likely to have considered dropping out than other ethnicities - 47.4% compared to 30.6% of White and 17% of Asian respondents.
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