A concerted policy focus on widening participation over the last twenty or more years has increased the number and diversity of students accessing higher education. To ensure that students have the tools and support they need to thrive whilst at university, we must understand the drivers and determinants of student wellbeing.
In this report, Evidence Associate Michael Sanders analyses Student Academic Experience Survey data to examine how the wellbeing of undergraduate and taught postgraduate students has changed over time, and how it varies according to demographic characteristics and circumstances.
Specifically, the paper considers wellbeing inequalities by course load, economic background, family education level, proximity to university, employment status, ethnicity, sexuality, sex and disability.
Analysis reveals that student wellbeing was adversely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, and that this has yet to be recovered from fully.
The paper also finds that there are important relationships between participants’ characteristics and circumstances and their wellbeing.