Murray Edwards aims to foster an inclusive environment. We take pride in our open and friendly community, and seek to be innovative in our approaches. We were founded for the purpose of educating female students, and have stayed true to this aim because we believe that inequality still exists within the University and within wider society, both in terms of participation and achievement. We want to be at the centre of debates about this, and strive towards greater equality. We recognize that there are many forms of inequality within society, and that discrimination happens for many reasons, but our history and current strategic direction mean that we focus on gendered inequalities facing women.
We are not a women-only environment: our Fellowship has long been mixed, and the College staff has always been mixed. In addition, not all our current students identify as women. The College is supportive of our students who transition following their admission to the College or who do not wish to define themselves as either a woman or a man. Thus, whilst our student population are largely women, this is not exclusively the case. There is a recognition within the College that gender is not binary, and there are concerns that narrow gender identities and the expectations associated with them are damaging to both individuals and to wider society.
At the admissions level, we will consider any student who, at the point of application, identifies as a woman. This information is communicated to the College through the UCAS application where a student has selected the gender category “woman.” Currently, we only consider students who identify themselves as a “woman” at the point of application.
Further, just as we would consider any student who is a woman seeking to transfer to this College during their degree, we would consider any student who, at the point of requesting the transfer recognises themselves through the category “woman.” Where an applicant / transferee feels that their case does not fall within the parameters set out above, the College will consider their case on an individual basis.
Should a current 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 offering full tutorial support through the process.
This statement was adopted by Council in Easter Term 2023, and is due for review in Easter Term 2026. If the recognition of gender categories on the UCAS form changes before the stated review date, the statement will be reviewed to reflect possible implications of such a decision and clarify the College's position with regards such a change.