Leaders show how to build gay-friendly campus

Stonewall survey rates Cardiff and Liverpool John Moores as best for supporting gay, lesbian and bisexual students

June 27, 2013

Source: Alamy

Full spectrum: 21 universities were named Stonewall Diversity Champions in recognition of their supportive policies

Cardiff University and Liverpool John Moores University are the UK’s most gay-friendly universities, a study says.

Both institutions scored full marks in an assessment by the gay rights charity Stonewall, which looked at the support available for lesbian, gay and bisexual students and rated procedures to guard against homophobic bullying.

Other institutions that scored highly included the universities of Aberystwyth, Birmingham, Canterbury Christ Church, Cumbria, Derby, Portsmouth, Salford, Surrey and University College London.

Twenty-one universities achieving high scores in the Gay By Degree 2013 ranking were named Stonewall Diversity Champions.

However, the average university score on support for gay people was just 4.5 out of 10, the study says.

Wes Streeting, former president of the National Union of Students and now head of education at Stonewall, said that universities needed to do more to embed policies to protect gay staff and students from discrimination. Only higher education providers have a high-profile anti-homophobic bullying policy accompanied by staff training, he said, but “shockingly” just 14 have sexual orientation monitoring in place.

“If universities aren’t even counting the number of gay students, how can they assure themselves, and prospective applicants, that they are fulfilling their moral and legal duty to provide an inclusive learning experience?” he said.

The study found that 136 universities had a lesbian, gay and bisexual society, although just 40 engaged with the wider community on gay issues.

Trebling tuition fees to £9,000 a year placed even more responsibility on institutions to ensure that they had a supportive atmosphere for gay people, Mr Streeting added. “Higher education providers should provide a high-quality experience for all students, including lesbian, gay and bisexual students.”

He hoped that the list would help gay students to choose a university, he said, and that institutions near the bottom would review their policies.


Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Reader's comments (2)

This is important stuff, we need to ensure our universities are welcoming and safe for all students, but with especial concern for those who will often be bullied and harassed in society. However, as to the assessment, I might look more favourably on this, if Stonewall didn't award points to Universities for becoming Stonewall Champions, ie pay Stonewall £2500 pa.

Nice to see some universities doing well (although not enough yet) but, what happened to the 'T' in LGBT? Or is that no longer included in Stonewall's remit? Which would be strange considering the organisation's origins...

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

  • Boats docked in Port Hercule, Monaco

Richard Murphy praises a bold effort to halt tax-dodging by the 1 per cent

It’s a question with no easy answer, finds James Derounian

  • James Fryer illustration (19 November 2015)

With no time for proper peer review and with grade inflation inevitable, one academic felt compelled to resign

  • Worker checks thin-film silicon solar module, Truebbach

Asia doubles representation while European countries face varied performance

  • Man and woman dancing wearing stilts

Study argues that, while Oxford and Cambridge stand apart, rest of mission group does not live up to ‘elite’ tag