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The student period is one of the brightest and most exciting in life. It is the time when the youth learns, develops intellectually, makes new friends, travels, and just enjoys being. Studying in the UK is one of the best opportunities regardless of the career you choose. This country is famous for its university and friendly community.
However, it is impossible to ignore some marginalised groups like LGBTs. Though the United Kingdom is very tolerant and respects minority rights, it is not always easy to find your place under the sun. Society still has some prejudice towards LGBT people. It means that if you need a decent attitude and support, you should choose your surroundings carefully. Especially when it goes to the college or the university, the place where you’ll spend the next several years.
Laws and Policies in the UK on Human Rights (for the LGBT)
The situation in the UK regarding the rights of the LGBT community has not always been favourable. However, since the turn of the 21st century, gay-people rights have increasingly strengthened in support.
Since 1999, there has been some protection against discrimination. In 2016, the UK lifted the ban on open service in the military. In 2001, the age of consent was balanced, regardless of sexual orientation. In 2003, the section that prohibited “propaganda of homosexuality” by local authorities and educational institutions was canceled.
Today transgender people can legally change their gender, and same-sex couples enter into civil partnerships, marry, and adopt children.
On the legal side, the UK looks like a very advanced country and friendly to the LGBT + community. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that there are challenges and difficulties, especially for young people who are just starting their life path.
Life of LGBT students in the UK
According to Amnesty International, LGBT people experience various types of persecution in 72 countries around the world. Fortunately, some advanced states are more loyal to minorities. But despite the fact that British law regulates certain legal aspects, it cannot be said that society is 100% accepting of the LGBT community.
Unfortunately, high school, college, or university are places where students can experience bullying. This is why it is important to develop educational institutions where LGBT youth are not excluded from important educational or social activities. By choosing one of the universities and best colleges for LGBT students from our list above, you can count on both a decent education and a safe environment.
If you need any help, don’t hesitate to contact the appropriate person at your university. There is always somebody who can provide you with emotional support and real help. Try to stay not alone, and make some friends from outside the LGBT community. One day the general situation will absolutely change because the world is constantly working on it.
List of LGBT-friendly universities in the UK
Stonewall has developed a
What were the criteria to shape the list of most LGBT friendly colleges?
- Availability and development of necessary policies to protect LGBT people and mandatory training for university staff.
- Conducting surveys to find out the sexual orientation of students and their attitudes towards minorities.
- Adequate informing of gay students and the development of a supportive community.
- Creation and development of a student club for representatives of the LGBT community, information about this organisation on the university website.
- Organisation and promotion of gay-friendly events.
- Consultation with a representative of the LGBT community on the possibility of improving school policy.
- Hiring LGBT staff who can provide students with the necessary support.
- Mandatory membership in the Stonewall Diversity Champions.
- Participation in the wider community, organising discussions, involving other universities in LGBT events.
- Consulting on LGBT career development.
Top 10 universities
Here is the list of top 10 most LGBT friendly colleges that have demonstrated the most loyalty and tolerance towards LGBT students:
- The University of Birmingham is famous for many LGBT-friendly activities. For example, it hosts different events (such as LGBT History Month) and conferences, and it also provides students with mentoring support. You can apply for a scheme and talk to people who have gone through the same experience and challenges. Get good advice and support.
- Bradford University has the LGBT+ network that provides a regular forum to discuss important diversity issues, raises safe environment issues, organises social events, etc. Even if the student doesn’t belong to the LGBT+ community, one can support it, and help the university to create a gay-friendly space;
- Cambridge University has created the LGBT+ campaign that organises various events and student clubs, such as choir, content workshops, board games, coffee breaks for gay people, etc. They also crafted a library to collect the literature about outstanding people from the LGBT+ community, as well as supportive materials.
- The University of Central Lancashire stands in solidarity with all gay students, so they also organise and promote various supportive events. They also have official social media pages where they share important information and raise discussions on important issues and common gay-related topics.
- Cardiff University strives to improve the LGBT+ students’ experience by hosting several events throughout the year, developing the network for staff and postgraduate students, and helping gay people to get most of their student life.
- King’s College London is one of the most gay-friendly colleges that offers completely free membership to their LGBT+ Society that exists to guarantee a friendly, safe, fun, and inclusive space for students and their friends. They promote awareness of important issues and host different events, including film nights, coffee socials, hobby masterclasses, etc.
- The University of Essex has a student’s union that is friendly to LGBT society. Students can always ask for advice and support, counting on absolute confidentiality. The university prevents any kind of discrimination and harassment.
- The University of Glasgow has also an LGBT+ network for staff and postgraduate students. It was founded in 2007 and was one of the first in Universities in Scotland. Members of this community meet regularly and organise various events to support one another and inform about current issues. The University also supports information distribution.
- Liverpool John Moores University is a truly inclusive university that provides equal rights for all students. They take care of anyone who studies or works here, making sure they have a positive experience.
- York St. John University is keen to create a good environment for everyone who needs it, understanding that LGBT students and staff may require specific support. The university highly appreciates the contributions of everyone regardless of identity, background, and experience.
Other LGBT-friendly universities
- Teesside University in Middlesbrough;
- The University of Westminster in London;
- The University of Manchester in Manchester;
- The University of Sheffield in Sheffield;
- De Montfort University in Leicester;
- York St. John University in York;
- Leeds Beckett University in Leeds;
- The University of Greenwich in London;
- London South Bank University in London;
- The University of Essex in Colchester;
- Edinburgh University in Edinburgh;
- Nottingham University in Nottingham;
- Lancaster University in Lancaster;
- The University of Plymouth in Plymouth;
- Keele University in Keele;
- The University of Wolverhampton in Wolverhampton;
- Leeds University in Leeds;
- Abertay University in Scotland;
- The University of St. Andrews in Scotland;
- The University of Salford in Salford;
- The University of Dundee in Scotland;
- The University of East Anglia in Norwich;
- Loughborough University in Loughborough.
Being a gay student in the UK these days is not so challenging as it was several years ago. There are a lot of world-famous universities that are ready to provide students with the absolute support regardless of who they are and whom they love. You can look for the 20 most LGBT-friendly colleges, choose the best one, and become a proud member of the LGBT+ community in your educational institution and help to share information, support other students, and protect human rights on a high level.