Male Oxford students free to wear skirts to exams

Male students at Oxford University can now wear skirts to exams, following pressure from the university’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer Society (LGBTQ Soc).

The historic university has traditionally required students to wear gender-appropriate academic clothing, known as subfusc, to exams and formal occasions.

But the rules have now been rewritten to allow male students to wear skirts and stockings under their academic gown and cap.


And female students will be allowed to wear suits and bow ties, according to the rules which came into force on 4 August.

The change comes in the wake of a motion put forward by the LGBTQ Soc which was passed by the students’ union earlier this year.

Formerly transgender students who wanted to wear subfusc of the opposite sex had to seek special dispensation.


The University’s council, headed by Vice-Chancellor Andrew Hamilton, removed any distinction between the sexes by stripping all references to men and women from the clothing rules.

Jess Pumphrey, LGBTQ Soc’s executive officer, said the change will make a number of students’ exam experience significantly less stressful.


She told the Oxford Student Newspaper: “In the future there will be no need for transgender students to cross-dress to avoid being confronted by invigilators or disciplined during their exam.”

An Oxford University spokesperson said: “The regulations have been amended to remove any reference to gender, in response to concerns raised by Oxford University Student Union that the existing regulations did not serve the interests of transgender students.”

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