Universities UK (UUK) has worked in partnership with the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) to address gaps in evidence on mental health in higher education. The research project included a narrative literature review, sixteen case studies, and a survey of higher education provision across multiple settings, including UUK and GuildHE members, the Mixed Economy Group of the Association of Colleges, and Independent Higher Education. It is published as Not by Degrees: Improving student mental health in the UK's universities.
The ongoing Mental Health in Higher Education programme is UK-wide. It is relevant to higher education providers in all four nations – England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
This is a sector-wide initiative, relevant to all higher education providers, of any size, funding type, location, discipline provision, or age. The higher education sector is diverse, and it is recognised that size, population, mission and operational structure of individual institutions is variable. However, the core principles and vision advocated within the framework is intended to be of use across all institutions.
The main focus of the work is university students, although the interdependencies with early years, schools, colleges and the world of work are recognised. It’s important to acknowledge particular vulnerabilities during transition periods.
The higher education sector has expanded significantly in the last decade. Half of all school leavers are now going to university, an expansion that brings particular health challenges.
This framework recognises the interrelation of the mental health of students and staff. Its focus in this first phase is student mental health.
Total students: 2,280,830
Total staff: 410,130