Universities UK has responded today to calls by HEPI for many universities to triple their spending on mental health support.
Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said institutions were aware of the challenges students experienced.
“An unfamiliar environment, new responsibilities and a new lifestyle can be stressful. This is particularly true for those who already have a pre-existing or underlying illness and may find it difficult to gain access to NHS services away from home. But calls to increase investment in student support services miss the point.
“At Universities UK, we have established a working group, chaired by Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England, to devise a strategic approach to student wellbeing and mental health. It will set guidelines for the co-commissioning of services for students by NHS providers, including specialised mental health services, GPs and universities. It will also identify and share examples of good practice across a range of areas, from student services to interventions.
“Most importantly it will highlight the need for strategic investment in well-being and mental health as fundamental to providing an excellent student experience. It must be a core part of the offer to students, parents and staff as well as to local and national stakeholders. Student wellbeing must be at the heart of the university.”