Universities train and educate the healthcare workforce and carry out research which improves the health of the nation and drives growth. ​


Our universities train and educate tens of thousands of healthcare professionals every year, including nurses, doctors and midwives.

University-based health researchers are responsible for some of the most important global innovations, saving lives, and improving the health of our communities.

Universities also have an important role to play in the health and wellbeing of their own communities of students and staff.​

Our work in healthcare​

Our main areas of focus include:

  • delivery of the recent health professional education reforms​​​​

  • supporting student health and wellbeing at universities

This work is overseen by our Health Education and Research Policy Network, chaired by Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University.

Associated organisations

We work with the following associated organisations to support and promote the role of UK higher education in health:

Health professional education reforms

Working with the Council of Deans of Health, we are committed to the delivery of the 2017 funding reforms to nursing, midwifery and allied health professional education programmes. The changes affect 30,000 new students every year across more than 60 of our member institutions. The changes bring opportunities to better meet the needs of students and universities as well as the future workforce requirements of health and social care.​

Mental health in higher education

Universities have an important role to play in the health and wellbeing of staff and students. Universities UK has launched a programme of work to help improve mental health for Higher Education populations. The Mental Health in Higher Education group is working in partnership with Public Health England, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, expert voices from student services and activist charities such as Student Minds and it is chaired by Professor Steven West CBE. 

Guidance on the prevention and management of meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia in higher education institutions

5 June 2017
Students in full time higher education are at higher risk of meningococcal disease than their peers. This publication summarises the issues facing students, staff, universities and colleges and their associated health services.

Student mental wellbeing in higher education: good practice guide report cover

Student mental wellbeing in higher education: good practice guide

13 February 2015
For the teaching and support of students experiencing mental health difficulties was commissioned by us and produced by the Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education Working Group.


Healthy universities: new guidance on meningococcal disease

11 November 2016
With half of all school leavers going to university, public health authorities are increasingly working with students and staff to promote and support good health in higher education.

Feature image credit, Simon Ellis, 2010

Why widening access to the medical profession should matter to us all

13 October 2016
How an extended medical programme at King's College London is helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds overcome barriers to the medical profession.


New programme to address mental health and wellbeing in universities

2 December 2016
Universities UK has launched a new programme of work to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of students and staff in higher education.

Response to planned medical school places increase

4 October 2016
Universities UK responded today to plans outlined by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, to increase the number of medical school places in England.

The team

John de Pury

John de Pury

Assistant Director
Universities UK

Kristen Hindes

Kristen Hindes

Executive Assistant
Universities UK

Gedminte Mikulenaite

Gedminte Mikulenaite

Policy Officer (Mental Health)
Universities UK

Samuel Roseveare

Samuel Roseveare

Policy Researcher
Universities UK