UoB increasing recognition of LGBTQ identities
We’re turning a corner
They are developing a project to recognise LGBTQ identities within the curriculum and increase inclusion at the University.
Chloe Edgley is Chair of the LGBTQ Association at UoB and has only good things to say in reaction to these new plans:
“Very often, identifying as LGBTQ can make you feel as though you’re on the outside looking in, so it’s really heartening to see that the University cares enough to consult with its LGBTQ students about their experiences to try and begin alleviating this feeling.”
The University’s Student Equality and Diversity Advisor , Jane Trope informed The Tab that there are two academics leading on it, who have already been surveying staff and students.
The key aims of the LGBTQ Curriculum Project include realising the barriers and concerns that colleagues and students face and listen to their experiences to ensure that the curriculum is inclusive towards those with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer identities.
Raising awareness of why this is, is important too.
Chloe explained: “Often things as simple as lecturers referring to “all genders” instead of the binary “both genders”, or not equating biological sex with gender identity can really make an impact and help LGBTQ students feel more included.”
To achieve this they “are currently running workshops in the University’s Colleges to inform staff of the issues and how to be more LGBT inclusive.”
There is an emphasis on creating a good practice guide which can be used for both those within the University and internationally.
Jane further explained the process of the project: “In terms of evaluation this is only tentative at this stage as we are only just beginning to run the college level workshops; although feedback to date is very positive.”
Emily, a third student at UoB, told the Tab: “It’s great! I really think it is important to have this LGBTQ inclusivity project. It is necessary to make the University an even better place to study for all students whatever their background or identity.”
The aim is to be gathering some feedback after each of the workshops and monitoring use of the website that’s being created, to see how people are engaging with the materials. They are hoping responses will be as positive as both students and staff first reacted to the concept.
The University are also hoping to start up an “ally” scheme, which they say would be beneficial in helping monitor the developments more fully.
The ally scheme will be designed for staff to support developments around LGBTQ equality. It is expected to include training and peer support groups.
The University is not only trying to improve the inclusivity of students within the curriculum throughout their time at university but, to think about the well-being and aiding with future career choices for students once they leave.
There is an LGBTQ mentoring scheme which pairs students with staff and other employees.
The crucial focus of the scheme is in providing support to help people feel comfortable with their identity and easing the transition from university to work.
Fair play to our Uni for looking out for everyone.