Wellbeing in higher education

This resource brings together, and builds on, the evidence base for improving wellbeing in higher education. 

Research

Find ongoing and recent research. 

Practice examples

What are universities doing to improve wellbeing and mental health?

Evidence

How can you take evidence-informed action? 

Current and recent research

Select your search criteria and press the filter button to search. Tell us about new and relevant research.

 

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The aim of the current study is threefold. First, we assess the prevalence of mental health problems in a representative sample of PhD students in Flanders, Belgium. Second, we compare PhD students to three other samples: highly educated in the general population highly educated employees higher education students. Third, we assess those organisational factors relating to the role of PhD students that predict mental health status. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048733317300422…

Work-related wellbeing in further and higher education in the UK. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319464567_Work-related_wellbeing_in_UK_Higher_Education-2014…

This report presents the findings of a national survey of work-related wellbeing in higher education. The sample comprised 6439 respondents working in academic and academic-related roles in UK universities and colleges.  The Health and Safety Executive framework for measuring work-related stress was used and findings compared with data obtained in previous waves of the research.  Other factors, such as perceptions of stress, illegitimate tasks and change fatigue and job satisfaction were examined.  Mental and physical health, absenteeism and presenteeism and work-life balance were also assessed. The implications for UK higher education are discussed. http://uobrep.openrepository.com/uobrep/h…

University wellbeing practice examples

This map shows the current practice examples for higher education. Contact us to tell us about what your university is doing to improve wellbeing.

MOVING FROM COUNSELLING-ONLY TO WELLBEING SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS: BOURNEMOUTH UNIVERSITY

Restructuring student support services to create a more integrate, proactive system.

A coordinated collaborative approach to wellbeing: KCLSU

Creating a Wellbeing Coordinator role to support a happier and healthier student community.

Know before you go: Mental health and transitions into university

Providing evidence-based resources to support students in vulnerable transition periods. 

Mental Health Toolkit: Newcastle University

Improving signposting to student support services.

University of Worcester ‘Suicide Safer’ Project

Developing a multi-faceted suicide prevention model to contribute to a ‘Suicide safer’ University and city.

A warmer welcome: Derby University

Changing typical ‘service induction’ sessions to increase belonging.

In partnership with:

Evidence: what do we know?

Across our lives

The biggest drivers of adult wellbeing (16 years and up) are:

  1. Emotional and physical health
  2. Partner relationship
  3. Employment

Find out more about the Centre’s work on lifelong wellbeing

Culture and sport

Mental health treatment, early intervention

Learning

Evidence from the What Works Centre for Wellbeing:

Evidence from other sources:

Financial wellbeing and capability

Evaluating

YOUNGER ADULTS EXPERIENCE POORER MENTAL HEALTH, LONELINESS AND UNEMPLOYMENT

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), compared to older people, young people in the UK (broadly from 16 to 24) are more likely to:

REPORT more SYMPTOMS OF MENTAL ILL HEALTH

REPORT LONELINESS MORE FREQUENTLY

FEEL THEY HAVE NO-ONE TO RELY ON OR A SENSE OF BELONGING IN THEIR NEIGHBOURHOOD

BE MORE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE

HAVE HIGHER RATES OF UNEMPLOYMENT

be MORE SATISFIED WITH THEIR PHYSICAL HEALTH

This matters both at an individual level and for society as a whole, in terms of how well we will be able to sustain high levels of national wellbeing into the future.

Get updates

WE’RE CARRYING OUT RESEARCH TO BUILD THE EVIDENCE BASE.

Take 10 seconds to sign up and receive updates as soon as new evidence and case studies emerge. Topics we’ll be reviewing include: loneliness; local service integration; institutional community wellbeing; and further education  and other learning institutions.

Who’s affected?

What are you doing to improve wellbeing?

Tell us what about your projects, activities and policies that aim to improve wellbeing within universities. It could be the first steps of a trial, or an established approach with proven results. Get in touch and we’ll follow up to fin[[d out what worked, what the learning was, and how other universities could take it forward.

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