Birmingham launches LGBTQ inclusitivity initiative

The Uni has plans to build on its status as one of the most LGBT-friendly universities in the UK

After being voted one of the most gay friendly higher education institutions, the University has launched a two year research programme to address LGBT related issues and embed them into academic teachings.

The project is being organised by Dr Nicola Gale, a lecturer in Health Sociology, and Dr Nicki Ward, a lecturer in Applied Social Studies.

LGBTQ Students’ Officer Samantha Bull said: “The initiative could mean including more LGBT figures from history, teaching works written by LGBT authors, and the discussion of LGBT-specific topics during seminars, leading to students who have a greater understanding of LGBT issues.

“It also includes improving the welfare aspect of teaching, such as training welfare tutors in LGBT issues so that they can help any LGBT student who may come to them with a problem.”

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According to Pink News, LGBTQ students in higher education experience higher than average drop-out rates and suicides across the nation, and the recent 2014 NUS LGTBQ conference revealed one in five LGBTQ students experience bullying or harassment on their own campuses.

Samantha added: “It will mean LGBT students will feel safer and more comfortable in their teaching environments, and all students will have a wider understanding of LGBT history and the issues faced by LGBT people.”

The research will take into consideration the experiences of staff and students and will present the findings in 2015 at University’s Teaching and Learning Conference.