University of Glasgow gets full marks for LGB friendliness

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Rhys Harper
Writer

The LGB lobbyist group Stonewall recently awarded the University of Glasgow a 10/10 score on its friendliness towards LGB students for the third year in a row.

In its annual Gay By Degree list, just six institutions in the UK met the group’s full criterion. The University of Glasgow is the first and and only higher education institution in Scotland to achieve full marks.

While Glasgow University did well in the rankings, other higher education institutions did not. Abartay University scored 2/10 while UWS and Edinburgh Napier both scored 1/10. Meanwhile, fellow Russell Group Universities Edinburgh, St Andrews and Aberdeen scored 6/10, 7/10 and 7/10 respectively.

President of Glasgow University’s LGBTQ+ society Iain French welcomed the news, stating: “I am over the moon with our 10/10 on Stonewall’s ‘Gay by degree’  checklist. It shows us that all the work we and the university and the  student bodies on campus have put in over the years to make Glasgow such an accepting and equal campus has paid off greatly.

He continued: “I feel proud that this has happened whilst I am at University, and really happy that it happened on such an important year for the LGBTQ+ society – we are starting to celebrate our 40th birthday this year, and I cannot think of a better way to do so than celebrating how equal our campus is.”

French commented on the important levels of both “formal and informal” support at the University and the “strong equality and diversity unit” that is available, noting that “each of the Unions have to adopt an equality opportunities policy and promote equal rights in everything they do, there is a strong staff network for LGBTQ+ staff as well and then there’s us who are there for the students every day as a support system.”

However, the GULGBTQ+ society has expressed problems with the fact that the Stonewall lobbyist is purely a lesbian, gay and bisexual organisation and French stated, “as such they have ignored and excluded a huge percent of our members and of the community.”

Liam King, the SRC’s Vice President for Student Support also welcomed the University’s success, stating: “The SRC is pleased to see the University of Glasgow score 10/10 on Stonewall’s Gay By Degree. The University and students work together to create an inclusive and diverse campus, and students and staff should be proud of this work. Students and staff recognise there is still work to be done but the SRC trusts that the university will not see this top score as an opportunity to rest on its laurels.”

Meanwhile, David Newall, Sexual Orientation Equality Champion for the University of Glasgow, said: “I am delighted that the University of Glasgow achieved top marks in Stonewall’s ‘Gay By Degree’. This reflects hard work by staff to ensure the a supportive, positive student experience. As an organisation we have a strong working relationship with the Student Representatives and the LGBTQ+ Student Association, of which we are proud.

“There are still many challenges in this area, but we hope the University of Glasgow experience is supportive and positive for all LBGT students.”