Transgender women will now be allowed to enroll in one of the female-only colleges at Cambridge University, the college has announced.
The college council announced on Monday that transgender women can apply to Murray Edwards College in the term that begins next October, said the college’s spokeswoman, Clara Stroud.
“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,” said the college’s president, Barbara Stocking.
The school said it would consider applications from any student who “identifies as female and, where they have been identified as male at birth, has taken steps to live in the female gender.” Applicants are not required to have undergone gender reassignment surgery.
Applications would be considered on a case-by-case basis, including transfer applications from students currently enrolled at other colleges and universities.
The college will not be opening their doors to men. They will continue to be a single-sex college.”Legally, societally and generationally, there has been a change in the understanding of gender and what makes one female,” said Dr. Foster, a professor of psychology.
The university’s other two female-only colleges, Newnham College and Lucy Cavendish College, will not be taking in transgender females.
Not everyone agrees with Murry Edwards’ decision. Germaine Greer, a former lecturer at Newham College, has argued that transgender women are not “real women.”
“If [Murray Edwards] really don’t believe that gender is binary, then they really shouldn’t be a single-sex college,” Ms. Germaine told the Telegraph.
Under British law, people are not allowed to change their gender until they are 18. The new changes to Murray Edwards College’s application policy allow students who can not yet transition to apply.
“There are students who are transgender at the University of Cambridge already, and there have been for many, many years,” said Dr. Foster
Newham College and Lucy Cavendish College have not yet commented on the situation.
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