Cambridge University has rewritten their ancient academic dress code following concerns it was unfair for transgender students.
Under the new regulations at one of the world’s oldest universities, students graduating will now be allowed to wear ceremonial clothing appropriate for either gender.
All students are required to dress smartly for their graduations and wear dark clothes along with their college gowns and white-trimmed hoods.
Under the old rules, men wore dark suits with a white shirt, white bow tie and academic bands with black shoes and dark socks.
Women could either wear a black dress or a white shirt with a black skirt, and smart shoes.
If they failed to comply with the rules, they could be refused graduation.
After successful lobbying by Cambridge’s LGBT student union, trans students will now be allowed to dress as fitting to their gender identity.
A spokesperson for the University of Cambridge said: ‘This is an adjustment to University policy which responded to a representation from students, and is in line with the University’s commitment to equality.’
Speaking to Gay Star News, the transgender representative for Cambridge University Student Union’s LGBT group Sarah Gibson applauded the change calling it ‘long-overdue’.
‘While this is a positive step forward more needs to be done to engage with and listen to the trans community as well as striving to create an environment that is truly welcoming and accepting of all,’ she said.
‘While the university may be old, it is at the forefront of modern thinking and hopefully the changes we are making will be seen as an example of how best to include everyone.
‘We hope that Cambridge University will continue to help us dispel the myths and misinformation that surround transgender people, as is befitting of a place of knowledge and enlightenment.’
Notable alumni from Cambridge University include Alan Turing, Charles Darwin, as well as more recent graduates such as Sir Ian McKellen, Tilda Swinton and Stephen Fry.