An ongoing challenge highlighted in the 2019 Advance HE and HEPI Student
Academic Experience Survey is that student wellbeing remains well below that of the general population of young people, and levels of anxiety continue to rise. Given that several aspects of the student experience are becoming more positive; it is notable that this is not following through into a more positive outlook on life.
The Embedding Mental Wellbeing in the Curriculum project is a collaboration involving Advance HE and English-based universities or colleges. Following high interest in the first cohort we have opened recruitment to a second cohort which will take place from March to September 2020. The deadline to join is 28 February 2020 and the price for participation is £6,000 for Advance HE members and £7,000 for non-members.
The project aims to:
- Develop a clear picture of what embedding mental wellbeing in the curriculum looks like;
- Understand current levels of institution/department/subject readiness to implement change;
- Gain first-hand knowledge of how others have implemented and embedded change in relation to student wellbeing;
- Obtain practical guidance and advice to harness change and support to students.
Who Should Join the Project
The project seeks to recruit institutions who:
- Have a broad interest in promoting the enjoyment of learning and teaching, enhancing the student experience, promoting inclusive practice, and equitable student outcomes;
- Wish to increase their understanding of mental health and wellbeing in learning and teaching and how to maximise the benefits;
- Are committed to taking meaningful steps to design and introduce changes in their practice, at the level of programmes and individual courses, and/or strategic design for future change;
- Appreciate the uniqueness of the English HE context and the benefits of working in collaboration with others to ensure a valuable learning experience for all student groups.
The project is designed to maximise the value of working collaboratively with other institutions whilst benefiting from Advance HE specialist support.
The working practice for the project is comprised as follows:
- Two bespoke meetings at each institution (one face-to-face involving a cross section of relevant units and actors, and one online with project leads);
- Two interactive all-day collaborative events with project leads from participating institutions;
- The optional application of a customisable survey instrument that will provide senior leaders with meaningful data on current attitudes and practice;
- An end-of-project report sharing principles, good practice and next steps that can be adapted for strategy and policy documents.
Why Advance HE?
Since 2016 more than 70 institutions have participated in Advance HE collaborative projects. Projects are cost effective and are delivered as a focused period of activity. They are grounded in sharing excellent practice, developing innovative approaches and assessing the impact of change. Institutions involved in the collaborative projects benefit from focused support on key issues, a safe space to share challenges and build networks of support, and implementing meaningful change.
This project will draw from Advance HE’s work in area including:
- initial finding from the first project cohort
- Embedding mental wellbeing in the curriculum
- learnings from our Teach Well initiative
- our small development funded projects on mental health and wellbeing of students
- our current work with DFE and Institute for Employment Studies advising DFE on the development of measurements for a potential survey of student mental health.