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

  • health research funding and governance

  • supporting student health and wellbeing at universities

This work is overseen by our Health Education and Research Policy Network, chaired by Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of the West of England.​

Hosted networks

We support research and innovation through our Health Research Networks:

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.​

Health research funding and governance

We conduct analysis of the health research funding landscape and are involved in the final development of the Accelerated Access Review. In addition, we work with the Health Research Authority and the Health & Social Care Information Centre to improve health research governance and data arrangements.​

Student and staff health and wellbeing

Universities have an important role to play in the health and wellbeing of staff and students. The Universities UK Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education group has produced a good practice guide, and works with sector bodies including the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Academic Registrars Council and AMOSSHE, the Student Services Organisation, to develop sector-led initiatives to student and staff health and wellbeing issues.​

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.

Report page

A picture of health and education

5 July 2012
This report explores the vital connections between higher education and healthcare.

Managing meningococcal disease (septicaemia or meningitis) in higher education institutions

1 December 2004
Universities and colleges are increasingly aware that cases of meningococcal disease cause great stress on campuses.


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

Samuel Roseveare

Samuel Roseveare

Policy Researcher
Universities UK