Report: What is it like to be an LGBTQ person at the University of Warsaw?

Queer UW’s recently published report 'Oddzielone, oddzieleni’ explores the situation of LGBTQ+ students at the University of Warsaw. This is the third wave of the survey in the history of the UW.

It has been five years since the last repor. A lot has changed since then. The report consists of two studies – quantitative and qualitative. The first is a survey of over 1,200 people studying at the University of Warsaw. The second consists of 15 in-depth interviews with LGBTQ people who have the status of students at the university.

The majority of respondents were non-heterosexual, with as many as 62% identifying themselves in this way. Interestingly, more and more people studying at the UW do not identify as cisgender and use other categories for self-identification.

When asked if they have experienced or witnessed violence directed at LGBTQ people at the UW, those participating in the survey most often answer negatively. Although quite rare, it still happens that LGBTQ people face discrimination. Respondents mostly stressed that they were not directly affected by more serious discriminatory incidents. They drew attention to outdated scientific knowledge in some textbooks – the kind that can discriminate against LGBTQ+ people, but also to the jokes and teasing that instructors sometimes indulge in.

One of the most interesting changes are the responses to the question about whether being outed as LGBTQ at UW might make such a person uncomfortable. Positive responses to this question have dropped by half over the years, while negative responses have increased by about 15 percentage points.

Just as in case of previous editions, the student research group Queer UW is responsible for the report. The organization aim is to support open-minded attitudes among students and to promote queer theories and related research at the capital’s largest university. You can find the entire raport on Queer UW website.

The project was co-financed from the UW Student Government budget.