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Canadian University Dubai recognizes and values the diversity of its students’ gender, gender identity and gender expression. The University therefore undertakes not to discriminate against transgender, transfeminine, transmasculine, gender non-binary and non-conforming students. It commits to creating an inclusive trans-friendly culture and learning environment, free from discrimination, harassment or victimization, where all transgender and non-binary students are treated with dignity and respect in the gender in which they choose to present themselves. Throughout this policy we use trans* as an umbrella terms to describe people whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, their sex at birth following discussions with our students.

It covers a diversity of gender identities and expressions including non-binary people. There is a wide variety of terms used by trans* people to describe themselves including (but not limited to) transgender, transsexual, gender-queer (GQ), gender-fluid, non-binary, gender-variant, crossdresser, genderless, agender, nongender, third gender, two-spirit, bi-gender, trans man, trans woman, trans masculine, trans feminine and neutrois.


The aim of this policy is to set a framework for how the University will support students who express their gender identify different to their sex at birth or have commenced and/or undergone the process of gender reassignment at any stage of the student lifecycle. The policy will give more detail on how the University’s strategic commitment should be applied to and how it will provide support to members of the University in meeting their legislative duties.

As part of the Equality and Diversity agenda, Canadian University Dubai is committed to the development of a culture where all students may live, study and work without encountering prejudice or discrimination because of any of the nine “protected characteristics” as defined by the Equality Act 2010.

The University aims to give support and understanding to those students who wish to take, or have taken steps, to identify as a gender different to their sex at birth.

The particular purpose of this policy is to ensure that a prospective student, a current student, or a graduate of Canadian University Dubai will not be treated less favorably than any other, on the grounds of gender identity or expression. This policy of equality is to apply at any time before, during or after a course of study, and at any point in any process of transition, expression or any change (including reversion) of gender identity.


This policy applies to students who have indicated a wish to live in a gender other than their sex at birth (whether or not medical supervision or surgery is either involved or contemplated) and non-binary students. The policy serves students at all stages of gender reassignment, identity or expression, begun or complete throughout the student cycle. This encompasses application to CUD, registration, every stage of their study or research to graduation.

Policy statement

The University will endeavor to undertake the following:

    • No student will be denied access or progression to admission, registration, teaching, learning and research, or treated unfairly on the grounds of their gender identity or expression, or their participation or non-participation in any gender reassignment process.

    • No student will be treated unfairly in relation to the awarding of scholarships, grants and other awards under the University’s control or the provision of student support.

    • No student will be disadvantaged through any of the University systems including but not limited to health and safety, personal conduct, complaints or disciplinary procedures.

    • In the provision of accommodation and other facilities by the University, each trans* student will be treated as an individual and their needs will be met as required, appropriately and sensitively.

    • The current curriculum, reading lists and contemporary content examples should neither rely on stereotypical assumptions or contain any transphobic material. Any historical content or comparative content containing what is now recognized as transphobic material needs to be clearly labelled with a trigger warning.

    • The University respects the confidentiality of each trans* student and no information will be revealed without the prior written agreement of the individual.

    • The University will not tolerate harassment and bullying. Transphobic abuse, harassment or bullying is treated as a serious disciplinary offence and will be dealt with under Senate Regulation 6 and/or Staff Disciplinary Policy and Procedures s.3. Support will be provided to any student who experiences such behavior.

    • The University recognizes the right of every individual to choose whether to be open about their gender identity and history. To “out‟ someone without their express permission may amount to a form of harassment and a criminal offence.

    • Trans* issues should be included in University Equality and Diversity training and specialized transgender training should be delivered to those working with and supporting trans* students.

    • Any student undergoing medical and/or surgical procedures related to gender reassignment will receive positive support from the University to meet any evolving needs during this period and all reasonable adjustments will be made as required.

    • The University will anticipate and respond positively to the needs of each trans* student and alumni, providing a professional and consistent service so that all trans* students feel welcome, safe, valued and supported in achieving their individual potentials.

    • The University commits to create and maintain an inclusive environment which demonstrates respect for each trans* student and all trans* students. The University guarantees equality across the whole student community with regard to the right to study with dignity, to use University facilities, and to preserve the name, personal identity of each trans* student. The inclusive and respectful environment will apply equally to associations (e.g. partner, spouse and family member, or ally), of a trans* student, and to an associate of any student who forms a part of, or identifies with, the wider-trans* community.

    • The University recognizes each student’s right to their individual gender identity and expression, and commits to respecting their privacy and treating their status confidentially and sensitively.

    • The University commits to facilitating where possible that trans* and non-binary students are able to have access to appropriate facilities on campus i.e. toilets in line with their gender identity and / or gender neutral facilities.

Providing support to students during transition

The way each student may transition will vary depending on a range of factors, including whether a person chooses to socially transition but not undergo any medical treatment, opt for medical procedures, or alter their gender expression without undertaking any other steps of transition. The University recognizes that all journeys are valid and all students will be supported. The most important consideration is ensuring each student can express gender identity preferences in the most comfortable way.

The student is encouraged to discuss transition with a tutor and/or the Student Support and Welfare Team if they would like support but there is no onus to do so. A very important part of this meeting will be to determine how to support the student and who will liaise with other University staff as required with the student’s written consent.

The plan should be put into writing and the student should sign it alongside the staff member. A copy will be kept by the University for the duration of the student lifecycle after which it should be managed in accordance with data protection law. The details will not be shared without the student’s written consent. The support plan and other arrangements should be monitored and reviewed regularly. Key review points are likely to include any time of significant change (whether personal or academic, or placement-related) but this does not preclude review and revision at any other time.


Canadian University Dubai respects the confidentiality of each of its students, and will not reveal sensitive information about trans* status without the prior agreement of the individual

Protection from discrimination and harassment

The University recognizes the right of each student to choose whether to express their gender identity and history. Staff and students should respect any transgender student in relation to:

      • Gender identity

      • Right to study with dignity

      • Name and personal identity

      • Privacy and confidentiality

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Introduction and Statement

  • Canadian Dubai University is committed to promoting and implementing equality of opportunity in the learning, teaching, research and working environments

  • The University aims to create a learning and working environment based on fostering good relations between all people, with a shared commitment to promoting respect for all, and challenging and preventing stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination and harassment

  • The University is committed to inclusiveness, which “embraces diversity by valuing and respecting the perspectives and contributions of all our colleagues and students”, to the benefit of the University community in respect of its learning, teaching, research, management, administration and support service activities

  • The University upholds the principle that, in their areas of expertise, relevant staff of the University shall have freedom within the law to hold and express opinion, to question and test established ideas and received wisdom, and to present controversial or unpopular points of view without placing in jeopardy their employment or any entitlements or privileges they enjoy

Scope of the Policy

This Policy applies to all members of the University community, including:

  • All members of staff holding a contract of employment, and staff from other institutions on placement at, or visiting the University

  • Individuals with honorary or affiliate status

  • All students, including visiting and placement students

  • Visitors, including external persons or agencies using the University’s premises, facilities or services

  • Contractors working at the University

  • Individuals working or acting on the University’s behalf, including suppliers of goods and services

The Policy

  • The University aims to ensure that all members of its community are treated with fairness, dignity and respect

  • The University will apply this policy in compliance with and in the spirit of the relevant legislation

  • The University will not discriminate on grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation (hereafter referred to as the ‘protected characteristics’) in any decisions concerning student admissions, progression or support provision

  • The University will not discriminate on grounds of any protected characteristic, in decisions concerning staff recruitment and selection, career development, promotion, staff development opportunities, pay and remuneration, or reward and recognition

  • The University will not discriminate against any person on grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex or sexual orientation, in the provision of facilities or services, or in the exercise of public functions

  • In the provision of residential accommodation, the University will seek to provide an inclusive living and studying environment

  • The University will not discriminate against any person on grounds of disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex or sexual orientation.

  • Under-represented groups are encouraged to apply to work and study at the University

University Responsibilities

Overall responsibility for Equality and Diversity lies with the University Court. The University Principal takes responsibility as overarching Equality Champion, supported by Equality Champions for each of the equality strands, drawn from the Senior Management Group

The University will ensure that:

  • Staff and students are made aware of this Equality and Diversity Policy through the University’s web pages, publications, induction and training provision, and through the line management structure, as appropriate

  • Publicity material reflects the diversity of the University’s community

  • Staff, students and visitors are treated fairly, irrespective of their protected characteristics. The University will take prompt action over alleged discrimination, victimization or harassment

  • Reasonable adjustments are made, as appropriate, to enable disabled staff and students to overcome substantial disadvantage in the working and learning environment, and in the use of recreational facilities provided by the University

  • Existing procedures for staff and student complaints, grievances and discipline/conduct matters are applied in a just, fair, open and timely manner

  • Staff involved in staff recruitment, student admissions, selection and promotion panels receive training on equality and diversity matters

  • External contractors are made aware of their responsibility in relation to equality and diversity and will be required to comply with university policies and regulations

  • Learning and teaching material, where practical, includes positive, diverse, non-stereotypical content

  • Public events are held, wherever possible, in accessible locations, and where accessibility is limited by necessity, this is made clear to potential attendees

Individual Responsibilities

All University staff, students, contractors and visitors have a responsibility under the Equality and Diversity Policy. All individuals are:

  • Responsible for making themselves aware of the University Equality and Diversity Policy

  • Expected to participate in training which supports the implementation of the University’s Equality Policy, as appropriate

  • Responsible for their behavior and expected to treat others with dignity and respect. This includes cases where alleged or proven discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimization has occurred

  • To support the University’s determination to promote good relations and eliminate discrimination and harassment

  • Staff responsible for schemes of work, teaching content and resources should demonstrate sensitivity to equality and diversity issues

  • Staff responsible for dealing with appeals, complaints, grievances, staff discipline and student conduct matters should demonstrate sensitivity to equality and diversity issues

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Unacceptable Conduct: Student Safety

  • Harassing, assaulting, or using physical violence against others,

  • Jeopardizing the safety of others or violating human rights,

  • Participating in individual or group activities that deliberately or irresponsibly cause serious disorder or suffering to others,

  • Possessing dangerous weapons such as, but not limited to firearms, on university property,

  • Intentionally possessing or using a dangerous artifact or substance that could harm or distress any person on university property,

  • Possessing and/or using fireworks,

  • Impersonating another student with or without his consent.

Any student who believes that he or she has been the subject of harassment or observed any type of harassment must communicate this incident to the Dean of Student Affairs.

Canadian University Dubai has zero tolerance for any type of harassment.

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Following the successful gala event, 'Music is our Voice', which brought together people of determination and the local school community in a spectacular celebration of music, Canadian University Dubai (CUD) Chancellor, Mr. Buti Saeed Al Ghandi, has spoken to Edarabia about the institution's actions towards promoting inclusion. CUD celebrates and protects inclusion as part of helping and supporting students and staff who have different gender, sexuality or orientation ideas, protecting their rights and making the community aware of these rights.

Why did CUD organize a music gala for people of determination? Would this be a yearly event?

The event was organized as part of the University’s ongoing endeavors to promote inclusion, understanding and coexistence, in the spirit of the UAE Year of Tolerance. Since 2017 we have seen the Canadian University Dubai EnSEmble grow and flourish into an extraordinary realization of individual and collective talent.

We know from our work with people of determination that awareness and inclusion across wider society remain among the biggest challenges they face in everyday life. Canadian University Dubai wanted to bring people together in an inclusive celebration of music to help further advance the conversation about autism in the UAE; to change the discourse into concrete action and progress across every aspect of society – from education and employment to cultural and social interactions.

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