As highlighted in our previous blogs, safeguarding the wellbeing of students is an integral commitment for European universities. A survey conducted by the European Students' Union underscores this point, with 87% of students emphasizing the importance of mental health services within their university. But what concrete steps are universities taking to address these concerns proactively? Here, we present five effective strategies:
While most universities offer confidential in-person sessions with mental health counselors, many are now expanding their services to include online resources. These digital platforms provide students access to mindfulness exercises and stress-reduction techniques. Some universities develop in-house resources, but cost-effective and impactful third-party tools and platforms are increasingly popular.
Recognizing the interplay between mental and physical health, universities are extending their focus to encompass physical wellbeing. Initiatives like affordable campus gym memberships, an array of sports classes, and the availability of healthy, budget-friendly meals foster a conducive environment for holistic wellbeing.
Shifting from an exclusive emphasis on academic performance, universities are advocating for a more balanced approach. Flexible course schedules, encouragement of regular breaks, and active participation in extracurricular activities are instrumental in elevating student wellbeing. A study conducted by the European Association for International Education revealed that 44% of students felt overwhelmed by their workload, accentuating the need for balance.
Universities host an assortment of student organizations and clubs, providing avenues for students to connect with like-minded peers. Encouraging students to join these groups cultivates a robust support network, alleviating loneliness and fortifying their sense of belonging.
Transitioning from high school to university can be a formidable challenge. Unlike the personalized support often available in high school, university students can find themselves in large lecture halls. To ease this transition, universities are offering additional and affordable services such as tutoring, writing centers, and study groups, enhancing the academic experience.
In summary, nurturing a healthy campus environment encompasses a multifaceted approach. Universities must provide a diverse array of services and effectively communicate these offerings to students. This holistic commitment to student wellbeing ensures that academic institutions continue to be spaces where students not only thrive academically but also flourish personally.