For the fourth year running Stonewall have released their Gay By Degree University Guide which names the UK's most gay-friendly universities. The universities have been scored based on a ten point checklist which is compared to their own publicly-available information on their policies and services.
Basing the results on what could be found publicly was a deliberate decision to “reflect what could be easily accessible to a prospective student in the process of applying to university,” according to the website for www.gaybydegree.org.uk, where the full guide can be accessed and searched by university. To save you the trouble we’ve compiled the top scoring universities in a gallery below.
Before you get stuck in, here’s a brief guide to the checklist so you know what you’re getting:
• A policy that protects lesbian, gay and bisexual students from bullying, with mandatory training for all staff to ensure it’s enforced.
• Monitoring that specifically asks students about their sexual orientation (so as to better ensure services for gay students are well-designed, useful and that the students are benefitting).
• Welfare support, information and resources for lesbian, gay and bisexual students.
• Student society for lesbian, gay and bisexual students.
• Consultation with lesbian, gay and bisexual students (to discuss needs and views).
• Specific career advice for lesbian, gay and bisexual students.
• Lesbian, gay and bisexual staff network (to enable staff to be open role models and to show the university is supportive).
• Stonewall Diversity Champion
• Engagement with the wider community (essentially supporting, engaging with or sponsoring LGB events in the community outside of campus).
In general things are looking up. In the original guide no university scored full marks, while this year we see six with ten out of ten. However it's important to remember that the institutions aren’t being formally ranked, as one factor on the checklist may not mean as much to you as another. Furthermore, smaller institutions may not be able to offer as much in the way of societies and events, so this needs to be considered when researching in the full guide. However, it’s safe to say that fulfilling all or most of the criteria is never a bad thing, which is why this gallery lists all the universities that have scored nine or ten out of ten in this year’s guide.
So have a look through and see who’s contributing to making university a better experience for everyone.