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Salford Uni leads the way with progressive plans for better supporting transgender students

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The University of Salford has outlined actions it will take to better support its transgender and non-binary students, including providing gender neutral toilets in every building and asking students what pronouns they prefer.

After support staff began noticing a significant increase in the numbers of students seeking help with gender transition or exploring their own gender identities, the university decided they needed to make some improvements to their services, practices and campus facilities.

The University has since strengthened its links with charities that work with trans people and have also been speaking to their own trans students, in order to work on plans for supporting trans and non binary students. Overall, focusing on training staff, removing barriers and creating a more inclusive environment.

Arron Pile, University of Salford student and graduate diversity officer said: “The University of Salford has a proud history of welcoming trans students and we’re keen to build on this.

“We’ve been working with national and local organisations, as well as working closely with our own trans students to develop an action plan outlining what we can do better.”

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Action being taken by the university includes:

  • Making sure all frontline student services receive training in trans awareness, including making sure staff at the on-site medical centre have a full understanding of trans issues.
  • Ensuring the University’s own counselling and wellbeing services are able to refer students who are questioning their own sexuality or gender to outside agencies who are able to provide help.
  • Installing gender neutral toilets in all University buildings – as a choice alongside the existing male and female toilets – by the end of November 2018.
  • Providing optional non-gender specific titles, such as ‘Mx’ and asking all students what pronouns they prefer to use during online student registration - this will be starting from September 2018 with the new intake of freshers.
  • Becoming a third party reporting centre for anyone who wants to report hate crimes they may have experience.

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Half of all trans students have considered dropping out of university, and of those who had considered dropping out, around two thirds mentioned the feeling of not fitting in, while just two in ten trans students feel completely safe on campus, according to a 2014 report by The National Union of Students (NUS).

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The progressive steps being taken by Salford University will hopefully have a significant impact, particularly as they focus on addressing many difficulties trans students say they experience at university and on campuses. Whatsmore, by amending gender-exclusive policies and practices, trans and non binary students will hopefully feel safer and more comfortable on campus.

As well as taking actions to become more inclusive, the university has also co-curated the national exhibition Twilight People at their MediaCityUK campus, raising visibility around gender identity in faith, and will be exploring the story of LGBT migrants in their Rainbow Pilgrims exhibition on May 16th.




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