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  1. ITV Report

Women-only Cambridge college to accept transgender students for first time

The Murray Edwards College in Cambridge. Credit: Murray Edwards College JCR

A women-only college at Cambridge University has announced it's opening its doors to transgender students for the first time.

Murray Edwards College has decided to revamp its policy in order to accept anyone who identifies as female - regardless of their gender at birth.

The college's council has now approved the changes to its entry requirements, stating that they want to create a more inclusive environment.

Sue Perkins (left) and Claudia Winkleman (right) both attended the college. Credit: PA

We seek an active and open debate on all issues from all individuals.

Many of us within the college have sympathy with the idea that gender is not binary, and have concerns that narrow gender identities and the expectations associated with them are damaging both to individuals and to wider society.

– Murray Edwards College statement

The college, whose alumni includes Sue Perkins and Claudia Winkelman, also confirmed that the same criteria will apply to transgender students hoping to transfer from another college.

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The decision has attracted its fair share of criticism though, with feminist and author Germaine Greer labelling it "ridiculous."

Germaine Greer has criticised the decision. Credit: PA

“It’s a silly situation, and I’m sure that Murray Edwards will have their own reasons,” she told the Daily Telegraph.

"But it’s a difficult relationship, having a transgender person in an all-female environment.

“If (Murray Edwards) really don’t believe that gender is binary, then they really shouldn’t be a single sex college.

"Their position is ridiculous. The only sane thing for them to do is to cease discriminating on the basis of assigned gender of any kind.

“There are plenty of women who have served their time in women’s colleges, who are pretty whiskery, but nobody did a DNA test on them. But they had to live women’s lives - with all the disabilities that that entails.”