14. How colleges can support trans students

Supporting students wishing to transition

A single point of contact in the college should be identified to support the student and coordinate action between college, department and University. For undergraduates this would normally be the Senior Tutor. However, staff with welfare responsibilities may also act as the main point of contact for students wishing to change their assigned gender identity. 

Colleges should anticipate that they may have students wishing to change their assigned gender identity, and should think about what steps need to be taken.

The checklist in Section 4 gives guidance on some of the issues to consider.

College staff should inform the Academic Records Office of any student requests to changes to name or gender records, so that University data can be updated. They should also change college systems that do not draw data from central systems. See: weblearn.ox.ac.uk/portal/site/:central:aad:adm:aro

Welcoming trans people

Provide positive messages that trans people are welcome. The absence of explicit mention of trans people may be interpreted as a sign that the organisation is neither supportive nor aware.

Examples of good practice include:

  • Working with student representatives to develop a list of the practical steps to be taken within college to support students who transition;
  • Providing information on a college’s website about support for trans students;
  • Publicising the location of gender neutral toilets;
  • Providing trans awareness training for staff;
  • Including transgender information in briefing for new students; and
  • Making private changing facilities available for those who choose to use them for sport. Ensure that gendered sports teams welcome trans people.
Good practice: Wadham College offered Gendered Intelligence training sessions and invited staff from other colleges and departments to attend.


Good practice: In recent years, Hertford College has held a service in the College Chapel to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance on 20 November.

Good practice: Linacre College women’s weightlifting club welcomes members who are women, cis or trans, as well as people with a complex gender identity which includes ‘woman’.

Student admissions and trans applicants

Trans prospective applicants may research college websites for information and be encouraged to apply if they find information about the college’s positive approach to trans inclusion. 

Good practice: Jesus and Merton Colleges include information on transgender and gender identity on their websites:

www.jesus.ox.ac.uk/current-students/welfare/transgender-and-gender-identity www.merton.ox.ac.uk/transgender-and-gender-identity

Staff engaged in student admissions should have awareness of transgender issues and of the profound impact of gender dysphoria. We would encourage applicants and schools to mention in their applications if schooling has been seriously disrupted by absence, mental ill-health or transphobia.

Colleges should be aware that applicants may have started a transition process and that official documents may differ from the individual’s current name and gender. Where an applicant contacts the college to request that a preferred name and gender are used, the college should ensure that relevant individuals, including interviewers, are briefed appropriately. Colleges may ask to see some proof of identity. Staff should check the name that should be used for correspondence to the home address, since this may differ from the preferred name to be used within the college. Once an offer has been made and accepted, the college should liaise with the student over practical arrangements relating to their transition.