Students at the University of Kent are being encouraged to stop using the term ‘Christian name’ to avoid offending non-believers.
The institution’s new inclusive guidelines encourage using ‘first name’, ‘given name’ or ‘family name ‘as an alternative to terms which involve “religion and belief”.
The document reads: “Avoid using Christian-centric terms, not only on ground of respect but also for practical reasons. The term ‘last name’ should not be used as it could be confusing to Asian groups who place their family name first. Surname is not unacceptable. However, this word may originate from sire-name, or the name derived from one’s father.”
The University of Kent is the latest high-education institution to delete Christian references as part of their inclusivity guidelines.
In December, the University of Brighton encouraged staff and students to say “winter closure period” instead of Christmas while in January, the London School of Economics announced it was dropping the traditional Christian titles for its academic term dates.
Tim Dieppe, Christian Concern’s head of public policy, said the university was “displaying an irrational fear of using the term ‘Christian’ as if it is something to be ashamed of”.
A university spokesperson said: “These are not formal policies and are not enforced, they are intended as a point of reference to help staff and students feel confident in playing their part in creating an inclusive university community.”