CGF Higher Seminar with Ruth Jones and Kate Tackeray
Ruth Jones and Kate Tackeray, University of Wocester, UK
“Tackling Transgender and Transphobia in Higher Education: The University of Worcester’s Transgender Education and Support Programme (UK)”
In contemporary society, there is a growing awareness about transgender and an increasing number of people, particularly young people openly identifying as transgender. Inevitably, transgender people are becoming more visible in higher education (HE) settings. UK Research shows homophobic hate crimes are most commonly experienced by those aged between18-24 (Stonewall, 2013), the age range of the majority of students in HE. A more recent study by Bachmann and Gooch (2018) support this, finding that 41% of transgender respondents had experienced a hate crime in the twelve months preceding their study, 53% of these were aged 18-24 years. Research also shows that 1 in 3 transgender students in UK universities have experienced at least one form of bullying or harassment on campus and that 51% of transgender students have considered leaving university (NUS, 2014).
Prejudice, discrimination, harassment and abuse towards transgender staff and students is an issue that the HE sector needs to recognise and respond to. In 2017, staff at the University of Worcester (UW) were funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), to create the ‘Transgender Education and Support Programme’, an education programme that aims to help staff and students better understand the concepts of gender and transgender, challenge prejudicial attitudes and behaviours, and better support transgender students.
Ruth Jones OBE is a Principal Lecturer at the University of Worcester and founder of the National Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Abuse (NCSPVA) (which was later renamed the Centre for Violence Prevention). She specialises in gender, gender equality and gender-based violence.
Kate Tackeray, PhD student at the University of Worcester and Senior Lecturer with a background in Health and Social care, Community Studies as well as Women’s and Gender Studies.