A programme to promote better understanding of the transgender community and to provide a more inclusive environment for all has been launched at the University of Worcester.
The 12-month pilot Transgender Education and Support Programme aims to enhance the knowledge of staff and students in relation to gender, transgender and transphobia. It will give people a deeper understanding and knowledge of the gender spectrum, gender fluidity, gender identity and gendered term; through group work and group discussions.
Funding was granted through the former regulator of higher education in England, the Higher Education Funding Council for England's (HEFCE) Catalyst Fund, which saw £1.8m distributed to universities and colleges to improve responses to hate crime and online harassment. The University of Worcester received almost £50,000 for the development of the Programme, which is now under way.
Sessions are delivered by Senior Lecturers in the University's Institute of Health and Society, Kate Thackeray and Ruth Jones OBE, alongside Ali Wells (a Worcester graduate student who completed the BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work degree in 2011)." The programme has already been delivered to students across the Institute of Health and Society, which has included Nursing and Midwifery, Paramedic Science, Mental Health Nursing, Social Work and Psychology students.
Ms Thackeray, who is one of the project leads, said: "Those of us delivering the training, including myself, felt it was a privilege to share in people's personal experiences and reflections, and we are looking forward to the remaining sessions." It is the hope that this will enable staff and students to be competent to identify and challenge prejudicial attitudes and behaviours in peers and others, creating a safe and inclusive learning environment for all members of the University's community."
The programme builds on the University of Worcester's commitment to combining high quality education with a truly inclusive approach that puts people first and aims to help students flourish.