Oxford University has revised its strict academic dress code to cater for transgender students, allowing men to attend formal occasions in skirts and stockings and women in suits and bow ties.
The university said yesterday it had rewritten laws governing academic dress following concerns that they "did not serve the interests" of transgender students.
The new dress regulations for students taking exams or attending formal events are similar to the old, but make no mention of gender.
The changes follow pressure from the university's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer Society (LGBTQ Soc). "In future there will be no need for transgender students to cross-dress to avoid being confronted by invigilators or disciplined during their exam," said Jess Pumphrey, the society's executive officer.
The old laws governing academic clothing were known as subfusc (roughly "somewhat dark brown" in Latin) and required male students to wear a dark suit and socks, black shoes, a white bow tie and plain white shirt under their black gowns.
Female students had to wear a dark skirt or trousers, a white blouse, black stockings and shoes, and a black ribbon tied in a bow at the neck.