Discover and share good practice for smarter working universities

EDITORIAL. Never Alone: Universities’ key role in supporting students’ wellbeing and mental health

Among the many issues universities are currently concerned about, students’ mental health and wellbeing have become a core concern. According to a YouGov’s survey (2016) a quarter of our students suffer mainly of depression and anxiety, or, mostly, both combined. The need to perform, financial worries, and being in a different and new social environment can all contribute to making students feel overwhelmed at times. The IPPR study Not by Degrees (Thorley, 2017), however, paints an even more disturbing picture.

Encouraging Students to ‘Study Happy’

As part of our Student Experience series, Rebecca Woolley from the University of Warwick shares their Study Happy programme with Alice in Libraryland tea parties and mindfulness sessions for students. The library offers a range of activities and aim to improve the whole student experience.

Peer mentoring and welcome workshops

At Nottingham Trent University (NTU), we are seeking to increase engagement and retention through student peer mentoring and the delivery of a new Welcome Workshop. This workshop, has been co-created and co-facilitated by our student mentors, is designed to instil a sense of belonging and student agency in all undergraduate first-years starting in September 2018.

“The Sticky Campus”; improving our students’ sense of belonging through active learning, coffee and...

2018 promises to be an exciting and challenging year for universities and the Higher Education sector. Among the many less than positive news, there are also successful practices that make our universities stand out in the way in which they support their students’ experience, widen access and participation, and support their mental health and wellbeing. The ‘Sticky Campus’ at Abertay University is one such example. As Robertson explains and describes, the concept is simple and yet complex in its operationalisation.
Student in lecture theatre

We need a passport photo not a selfie: an admission officer’s plea

Many institutions are responding to the student-funded business model by examining the ‘student journey’ in a systematic way. The Efficiency Exchange team ran a workshop at the Student Record Officers Conference to explore ideas for improving interactions with students at key points on their journey. Rosie Niven shares some insights.

Gold is the only colour that matters to students, survey reveals

Research by the Higher Education Policy Institute has revealed that more than two in three university applicants say a gold Teaching Excellence Framework rating is important to them.
Children's drawings of people

Developing student and staff personas: a practical guide

If you want to be sure you're meeting the demands of your stakeholders as they use your services, creating personas to identify their needs will help sharpen your focus. As consultant Jean Mutton explains, it's a technique that's becoming more widely used and it needn't be a difficult process.

Student mental health and wellbeing – why does it matter?

While universities can do much to support their students by developing policies and practices, students can also benefit from the support of charities. In this blog Grace Anderson outlines what Student Mind offers.
Jean Mutton

Service design for universities

Sometimes solutions are under our noses - you just need the right approach to unlock them. In this post, consultant Jean Mutton explains service design, which she says is for anyone who often thinks "there must be a better way".
Universities UK logo

Higher education is ‘more than just a degree’ for students

Students are becoming more active learners, seeking well-resourced institutions that are clear about how their fees are being used - and universities are responding to these needs, says Universities UK's Greg Wade.