More than a third of trans university students (36 per cent) have suffered transphobic comments or behaviours from classmates or staff, a new study has revealed.
The research by UK LGBTI charity Stonewall showed that trans students were five times more likely than their cis gay or bisexual counterparts to be targeted by negative behaviours.
Seven per cent of trans students said they had been physically attacked at university in the last year.
Some study respondents said they had been “ridiculed”, subjected to “constant” abuse, and called by various transphobic and homophobic slurs.
Most trans students (61 per cent) said they had hidden their trans status in the last year because of fear of discrimination or abuse.
A third of cis gay or bisexual respondents said they had similarly hidden their sexuality at university.
One in seven trans people surveyed had considered dropping or actually dropped out of a course because of discrimination.
Nearly a quarter of trans students (23 per cent) said they were not called by their correct name and pronouns, including by university staff and in formal communications.
“My pronouns and preferred name are not used by my university tutor, and only by very few students,” said one respondent.
The research found LGBT people who are also in other marginalised groups were the most likely to be excluded by other students for their identity.
While 28 per cent overall said they had been excluded for being LGBT, 36 per cent of those with disabilities and 37 per cent of LGBT students of colour experienced exclusion.
More than two thirds of respondents (69 per cent) said their universities had policies for equality based on sexuality, but almost a quarter (23 per cent) said there was no visible commitment to trans equality.
Based on the study results, Stonewall recommended that universities should work to support LGBT inclusion and visibility, particularly for trans students.
The organisation’s report also called for universities to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to homophobic and transphobic bullying, with victims supported to report abuse.
Chief executive Ruth Hunt said many universities are taking steps to address discrimination and harassment, but more work is needed.
“While there are many positive experiences of institutions getting it right, there are also some worrying accounts of students facing discrimination and a lack of inclusion because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Hunt.
“By working together with their LGBT students, universities have and can create a learning environment where every LGBT person is accepted without exception.”