Studying in the UK as an LGBT student
“Common barriers, ranging from insulting comments to even physical attacks, are a widespread feature of this harsh present reality in our universities”
Studying abroad is both challenging and exciting. For LGBT students, unfortunately, is much less of excitement, but of a tough challenge.
Common barriers, ranging from insulting comments to even physical attacks, are a widespread feature of this harsh present reality in our universities. However, seeing beyond this deep-rooted belief in our societies, the conditions are changing for the better and the quality of life for these students is evolving in many countries.
UK universities are a perfect example to illustrate this progress. It’s a well-known fact that UK universities are global leaders and their firm commitment toward equality principles in higher education accounts for this reputation, and we see their efforts having effect each day.
Aside from some remaining challenges, studying in the UK as an LGBT student is a satisfying experience. According to Studying-in-UK.org, UK universities are highly LGBT-friendly, with some of them being particularly good at this aspect.
In accordance with their values, UK universities put extra efforts to integrate students, regardless of their sexual assignment. Their ultimate goal is clearly defined; to reach a state when everyone is free to seek education and their activity to reach it ranges wide.
Their role is extensive but in principle revolves around increasing the quality of LGBT student life and by putting pressure to higher instances for solving common problems for LGBT students in and out the university.
But how do they tend to accomplish this mission?
They establish and maintain modern strategies to identify and deliver LGBT students’ needs. This mission is carried out from specific bodies included in the university’s campus and a heavy agenda of events throughout the academic year.
An event which is particularly important for LGBT students in the UK is the month of the history of LGBT. During the course of a month, students, regardless of their gender and sexual orientation, are invited to participate in different social events and campaigns.
“It’s a well-known fact that UK universities are global leaders and their firm commitment toward equality principles in higher education accounts for this reputation”
Knowing that LGBT students are subject to loads of psychological pressure during their studies, these events aim to also provide the required emotional relief. It is important to be told that these students are not alone and gathering during these events and sharing experiences have the effect of helping them getting encouraged to seek their dream of higher education and ways to cope with barriers standing in their way.
Besides, students get an extensive understanding of issues that concern this community so, in turn, they’ll be able to seek higher awareness outside there and fight for their rights on their own.
As part of their firm commitment toward LGBTs’ integration, universities in the UK have numerous student union organisations incorporated in their campuses. You can reach them at any time and it is for sure they will intervene to voice your concern.
Except for university, these organisations in the UK enjoy high support from other governmental or non-governmental third-parties outside the campuses, accounting for more available resources for helping.
These organisations exert their authority to improve the quality of life for LGBT students. Moreover, their typical concern is not only limited to the duration of studies, but it also aims to help students with your post-university life.
That said, Universities in the UK have several career advising centres specifically for LGBT students. Thanks to their close links with industrial partners and prospective employers, they help students land a good job and build a successful career. Consequently, these students will eventually gain a strong standing point from where they can become factors, so to push forward LGBT issues in UK universities.
About the author: Juliane Reede is a Swedish student attending university in the UK.