Date published: April 06, 2017

Salford working towards being a trans-inclusive University

The University and the Students’ Union are on track to become one of the first transgender-friendly universities in England.

The number of trans and non-binary students who seek help with gender transition or who are questioning their gender at the University has increased.

askUS, which offers specialist support for trans and non-binary people, has offered support to over 30 students in the last year, compared to just three in 2013.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has now selected Salford as a case study for best practice in transgender support.

Some of this best practice has involved a group of eight trans and non-binary students, who meet on a regular basis to share their experiences and suggestions with askUS staff.

Over the last year, the group’s efforts have meant that the University’s first gender inclusive toilet was installed in the multi-faith centre last month. There are plans to install several more gender-neutral toilets on campus.

The group co-curated a national exhibition which was held at Salford’s MediaCityUK campus last year, called ‘Twilight People’, which aimed to raise visibility in the areas of faith and gender identity. Students also ran a workshop about coming to University at Sparkle, the largest trans festival in Europe held in Manchester each year.

Salford can also offer support to students simply questioning their gender identity and gender expression, and supports staff who may require advice about how to help a student going through gender reassignment. There is a dedicated support officer who the individual can speak to, and this support continues for the student after they have graduated.

Ceewhy Ochoga, President of the University of Salford Student Union said:  “As a Students’ Union, we are an inclusive organisation and we want all our students to be able to study and socialise in an environment in which they feel safe and comfortable. We are excited that the University and Students’ Union is working towards being a Transgender Friendly University Campus.”

The University flew the trans flag outside the Old Fire Station on Transgender Day of Visibility (Friday 31 March 2017).

If you have questions or training needs about support around gender identity and expression please can contact Arron Pile in askUS.

More News