The University of Glasgow has scored highly in a recent assessment of sexual health facilities amongst the 23 other Russell Group institutions surveyed. However, there is still room for improvement according to experts.
Glasgow ranked joint 7th with Queen Mary’s University London and received 5 ‘A’ grades out of 10 core assessment areas. This examination of sexual health facilities was carried out by online medical service Dr.Ed.com, published as a ‘Sexual Health Report Card.’ The DrEd Sexual Health Report Card is the first annual measure of UK universities sexual health facilities.
Glasgow was commended for its strength in such areas as condom and contraceptive availability, the availability and promotion of sexual health information around campus, and for holding special events and testing days.
QMU’s free contraception and sexual health advice stall has been instrumental in allowing Glasgow to succeed in this area. The take-home chlamydia and gonorrhoea kits that have previously been given out to students during SHAG (Sexual Health at Glasgow) week by the Barclay Medical Centre have also been identified as part of the successful campaign at the university in confronting sexual health issues amongst students.
Jess McGrellis, VP Student Support, said: “It is great to see the University of Glasgow so highly ranked on the sexual health report card. We have a wide range of services across campus, including the SRC Advice Centre, the QMU condom service and an on-campus Medical Centre (to just name a few), who can offer a wide range of services varying from offering contraception to directing students to general information about sexual health, and it great to see that being recognized as a strength at Glasgow University.”
McGrellis continued: “Having said that, there is always more that we can do. Some of the areas where Glasgow University scored particularly low, mainly around the information on the university website, should be easy to solve, and therefore providing more information for students and moving up this league table is a realistic goal for the future.”
Glasgow scored lowly in online information about sexual health and the availability of services catering to those victim to sexual assaults. In the light of recent unfortunate events involving a series of sexual assaults on young women in the West End area, the absence of such services is all the more disappointing.
Dr Spence from the Barclay Medical Centre on campus agreed that developing a better web service through the university would help signpost students to facilities, especially students new to Glasgow. He also spoke of the Barclay Medical Centre’s proposals for an increased focus on sexual health services for international students, such as the potential introduction of sexual health classes in a variety of languages.
Dr Spence commented that: “We are aware international students will be coming from various countries and with differing levels of sexual health education. Therefore, we are looking at ways to improve the accessibility of our sexual health facilities for them specifically.”