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University of Birmingham launches LGBT curriculum project

Anastasia Kyriacou October 15, 2014

The University of Birmingham (UoB) has launched a 2 year research project to produce a guide for colleagues as a way of ensuring LGBT inclusivity.

UoB has developed an Inclusive Curriculum Working Group that will develop a guide for colleagues who want to embed LGBT issues in the institution’s academic disciplines.

On a national scale LGBTQ students in higher education experience higher than average drop-out rates, suicides, use of student support services and mitigating circumstances.

While inclusivity initiatives previously focused on the social experiences of LGBT students, the new project will be based on the content and delivery of teaching. This comes after students suggested positive experiences involved good staff role models and staff with knowledge of LGBT identities. They reported that interaction in lectures and seminars as well as in laboratories are crucial to their experience.

Co-Project Leader Dr Nicola Gale, Lecturer in the Sociology of Health Care, Health Services Management Centre said: “For LGBTQ students, coming to university can be a really positive experience socially, with the opportunity to meet new people and, here at Birmingham, join the excellent student LGBTQ Association. However, we would like to ensure that this experience translates in to the actual content of their courses.”

The UoB project will explore staff and student experiences through a survey and local-level workshops over a period of 2 years, alongside the review of course literature. These findings will then be compared with experiences across the international education sector while those involved in the project hope to present their research at the University’s Teaching and Learning Conference in 2015.

The University was voted one of the best universities in the country for LGBT students by Attitude magazine and recently scored 9 out of 10 on Stonewall’s Gay by Degree University Guide.

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