Czech Universities May Need to Issue New Diplomas to People Who Undergone Gender Transition

Beginning next year, Czech Universities may be required to issue new diplomas to people who have undergone a gender transition.

This policy marks significant progress for transgender and LGBTQ+ rights in the Czech Republic. Starting from January 2024, anyone who has undergone gender reassignment surgery is eligible to apply for a new diploma which contains their new name and preferred pronouns.

The proposal was created as a joint effort between The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports – led by Vladimír Balas, and the Minister of Science, Helena Langšádlová.

There are currently no stipulations in Czech Law which lay out the procedure to modify one’s diploma, and subsequently, Czech Universities are reluctant to issue new diplomas. This issue was noted by former ombudsman Anna Šabatová in an open letter addressed to the Minister of Education at the time, Robert Plaga.

A proposed amendment to the Higher Education Act could change this though, contributing to equal treatment of students and graduates, as well as minimising discrimination against transgender people when they present their original diplomas.

“The amendment responds to the difficult situation of persons who have undergone gender reassignment in proving their educational qualifications through educational documents obtained before gender reassignment,” the explanatory memorandum reads. It explicitly obliges universities to issue a new diploma containing up-to-date information at the request of the person concerned.

According to the Ministry, this is a crucial step to make life easier for transgender people.

“If such a person were forced to continue to prove their original diploma, there would be, for example, an immediate and not always desirable coming out during the admission procedures, which could make it significantly more difficult for such a person to gain a position on the labour market,” the drafters of the amendment point out. Other institutions can comment on the amendment until March 8th.

If approved, universities will be obliged to issue new diplomas with modified data, starting from January 2024.

Graduates interested in modifying their documents only need to show the school or faculty a change of name or birth number.

The fee for issuing a new document should not exceed CZK 1,000.

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