The College and Transgender Issues - a Statement
Current Version Adopted by Council: February 2020
Review Date: Lent Term 2023
The College and Transgender Issues - a Statement First and foremost, Murray Edwards aims to be an inclusive environment. We take pride in our open and friendly community, and seek to be innovative in our approaches. We were founded for the purposes of educating female students, and have stayed true to this aim because we believe that inequality still exists within the University and within wider society, both in terms of participation and achievement. We want to be at the centre of debates about this, and to strive towards greater equality. We recognise that there are many forms of inequality within society, and that discrimination happens for many reasons, but our history and current strategic direction mean that we focus in particular on gender.
We are not a women-only environment: our Fellowship has long been mixed, and the College staff has always been mixed. We seek an active and open debate on all issues from all individuals.
Many of us within the College have sympathy with the idea that gender is not binary, and have concerns that narrow gender identities and the expectations associated with them are damaging both to individuals and to wider society. The College is also supportive of students who do not wish to define themselves as either female or male.
At the admissions level, we will consider any student who, at the point of application, identifies as female and, where they have been identified as male at birth, has taken steps to live in the female gender (or has been legally recognised as female via the Gender Recognition Act (2004)). Similarly, just as we would consider any other female student seeking to transfer to this College during their degree, we would consider any student who, at the point of requesting the transfer, identifies as female and, where they have been identified as male at birth, has taken steps to live in the female gender (or has been legally recognised as female under the Gender Recognition Act (2004)). Where an applicant / transferee feels that their case does not fall within the parameters set out above, the College will consider their case on an individual basis.
In relation to current students, we consider each case on an individual basis, focusing on what is in the best interests of that individual, in full discussion with that student. Should the student decide that they would prefer to be in a mixed college if transitioning to male or if rejecting a binary gender category, the College would be fully supportive of a transfer and do all that was possible to bring one about, but this would only be one option, and full tutorial support would be given to the student throughout regardless of the option the student chose to take.