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Women-only Cambridge University college makes historic change to allow transgender students

October 4, 2017
Cambridge University

Cambridge University (Graeme Robertson/Getty Images)

A Cambridge University college has agreed to change its rules to ensure transgender women are welcome.

Murray Edwards college, founded in 1954, will now allow any self-identifying woman to attend the college.

The new rules will be applied to any student who has taken steps to identify as a woman, regardless of the gender on their birth certificate or other official documentation.

The esteemed college has previously educated the likes of out comedian Sue Perkins, Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman and actress Tilda Swinton.

Dame Barbara Stocking, president of the college, said: “We are a college that is open to all outstanding young women and so it is absolutely right, both legally and within our set of values, for anyone who identifies as female to be able to apply to study with us.

“Society is changing and there is now a greater understanding of the complexities of gender.”

An official statement by Murray Edwards said existing Cambridge students will also be permitted to move into the college if they transition to female while there.

“Many of us within the college have sympathy with the idea that gender is not binary, and have concerns that narrow gender identities and the expectations associated with them are damaging both to individuals and to wider society.

“The college is also supportive of students who do not wish to define themselves as either female or male.

“At the admissions level, we will consider any student who, at the point of application, identifies as female and, where they have been identified as male at birth, has taken steps to live in the female gender (or has been legally recognised as female via the Gender Recognition Act 2004).

“Similarly, just as we would consider any other female student seeking to transfer to this college during their degree, we would consider any student who, at the point of requesting the transfer, identifies as female.”

The new rules will also allow students who transition to male to move to mixed colleges.

“Should the student decide that they would prefer to be in a mixed college if transitioning to male or if rejecting a binary gender category, the college would be fully supportive of a transfer and do all that was possible to bring one about,” they said.

More: cambridge university, LGBT, murray edwards, Trans, Transgender

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