A Belgian university has released an apology after an email was sent encouraging female students to wear low cut outfits to their graduation.
The email told students: “From an aesthetic point of view, it is preferable if young women wear a dress or a skirt and a nice low neckline.”
Male students were simply told to wear a suit, and had no dress code attached to their email.
The Brussels Free University posted an apology on Facebook after the offending email was circulated online.
The apology was on behalf of its medical faculty, to apologise to all students who had received the message.
It said that the advice was inappropriate and went against the university’s values.
According to the Dean of the Medicine Faculty, Macro Schetgen, the email was most likely to have been sent out by a woman, as the secretariat does not include any men.
“No, it’s not a hoax,” he told Belgium news outlet RTL, confirming the email had been sent out but adding that it had shocked him too when he found out.
Students responded to the email in their hundreds, accusing the university of being sexist.
A Facebook page for the university also published a response it had received from a student: “No one has the right to tell you how you should feel in your skin.”
“Nobody has the right to tell you how to dress. No one has the right to tell you how to play your role as a woman.”
“No one has the right to take away this freedom that has been (and is still being) obtained with such difficulty.”