Plymouth named one of UK's most gay-friendly universities

Plymouth University has been named as one of the top 10 per cent of institutions in the country for the opportunities and support it offers lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) students.

In a study conducted by lesbian, gay and bisexual equality charity Stonewall, Plymouth was shown to meet nine of the ten criteria sought by the charity to identify whether a university was gay-friendly.

It comes just over a year after the University joined the acclaimed Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme, Britain’s good practice employers’ forum on sexual orientation, and recognises its work to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.

Rachel Jagger-Thomas, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Plymouth University, said:

“This is absolutely fantastic news and a ringing endorsement of our long-standing commitment to create equal opportunities for everyone at the University. It reinforces our policy of promoting equality, inclusion and freedom of choice as we constantly look at ways to enhance opportunities for all our students and staff. We are proud to have a great working relationship between our LGBT Staff forum and our Students Union, which clearly helps us in understanding the issues that people may face and working together to address them.”

Richard Skipper, Vice President of Welfare and Deputy President of the University of Plymouth Students Union, added:

It is fantastic to be acknowledged for the hard work that the Students’ Union and University have put in over the years to support lesbian, gay and bisexual students. We have a progressive and a great history around combating all forms of discrimination at Plymouth University. We’re even set to progress further with the UPSU Student Voice Audit and the introduction of our liberation forums, one of which is specifically to give a voice to LGBT issues. Personally I have had a great experience at Plymouth University, and I'm in no way biased when I say that any student that wishes to be themselves and not suffer discrimination can do so at Plymouth University.”


Richard Skipper, Vice President of Welfare and Deputy President of the University of Plymouth Students Union:

I have had a great experience at Plymouth University, and I’m in no way biased when I say that any student that wishes to be themselves and not suffer discrimination can do so at Plymouth University

The information collected by Stonewall has today been published in Gay By Degree 2015, the only online guide showing how gay-friendly the UK’s 158 universities are, with Plymouth among just 16 universities to meet nine of the ten criteria.

That checklist includes whether universities have a policy to tackle homophobic bullying, whether there are societies and events for gay students, and what steps they take to support gay staff.

Stonewall Education Policy & Campaigns Officer, Hannah Kibirige said:

“There are a record number of university places available this year and prospective students who are lesbian, gay or bisexual will want to study where they will be supported and developed. It’s particularly concerning that only 35 universities are monitoring student’s sexual orientation, leaving them no way of telling if they’re providing a positive experience for gay students, and universities also risk on missing out on a huge pool of talent with 7 in 10 failing to actively reach out to potential LGBT students or engage with the local community on LGB issues. We hope this year’s findings prompt action by the higher education sector to consider the needs of all their students, regardless of sexual orientation.”