The Policies Of Women’s Colleges

Following controversy on the Get Real. website last month regarding women’s colleges and their attitudes to trans students and applicants, an investigation was carried out to examine the individual policies at Murray Edwards, Newnham and Lucy Cavendish. 

  • Murray Edwards College
Credits: Peter Corbett

Credits: Peter Corbett

The Statutes at Murray Edwards precludes the College from accepting any student who is not legally female, regardless of their gender identity when applying through UCAS. British law forbids anyone from applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate, the only means by which an individual’s legal gender may be changed, unless they are 18 or over. The College, which lacks a specific gender policy, does however “treat each case in the most appropriate fashion for that individual and with their best interests in mind.”

  • Lucy Cavendish College
Credits: Cambridge University

Credits: Cambridge University

In their response, Lucy Cavendish, told us they “welcomed transgender, transsexual and non-binary undergraduates and graduates, and were proactive in addressing applicants’ concerns relating to cisnormativity.” However, like Murray Edwards, the College was bound by Statute to admit only those who are legally female. To be considered applicants must obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate. This is more feasible than at Medwards as Lucy only admits applicants who are 21 or over being a mature college giving them more time to transition.

  • Newnham College
Credits: kaet44

Credits: kaet44

Newnham College responded to the query stating that it was their policy to “protect and respect the rights of transgender and transsexual students, including especially their rights to privacy and to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association without discrimination on those grounds.” The College then admitted that their “written policies do not specifically address the matters of transgender and transsexual students but deal with equality in general terms.”

An earlier investigation on the same topic by Ellie Hayward was published by The Cambridge Student on the 12th of March 2015.

Hesham Mashhour (GR. Chief Editor)

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