Bringing international experts together to improve student mental health and wellbeing

On Thursday 21 June, an international conference held at our University will be delving into the critical issue of student mental health and wellbeing.

The Global Student Living Conference invites academic experts, policymakers and practitioners to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the Higher Education sector today. The 2018 conference will focus on strategies and solutions for student mental health and wellbeing.

Recognising that student experience stretches from academic study and final outcomes to accommodation, food and social life, the conference is aimed at policymakers, academics, student services professionals, students’ unions and accommodation providers tasked with developing and sharing best practice.

Hosted by Red Brick Research, the agenda will explore the impact of changes in HE policy, present new international research on student wellbeing, and deliver practical workshops and breakout sessions led by specialists in their field.

Professor Jon Scott, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience will be delivering an opening talk at the conference.

Professor Scott said: “I am delighted that the 2018 Global Student Living Conference will be held at the University of Leicester. The University endeavours to provide the best experience possible for our students and support them throughout their university journey- from the moment they arrive on their first day, all the way through to graduation and onto their career paths.

“It is imperative that we guide our students in managing their mental health but also have established a strong network of support that they can turn to if they ever need help. I’m looking forward to sharing how the University of Leicester will be a part of the transformation in student wellbeing and pastoral care that is currently happening in the HE sector.”

Michael MacBean, Head of Counselling and Wellbeing at the University of Leicester, will be speaking on international student wellbeing, exploring the additional challenges experienced by those who study away from their home country.

Michael said: “The University of Leicester pioneered student counselling services in the UK, as it was the one of the first HE institutions to offer this service to its students. The Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service celebrates its 70th birthday this year. A lot has changed in that time, we now view responding to student wellbeing as an institutional responsibility and recognise that we have a diverse student body who face many different challenges. One such group are students who study away from their home country.

“The whole of the HE sector is searching for new ways to effectively and sustainably address the needs of our students. This search is raising many questions, such as where does the university responsibility stop especially in the context of stretched community based services and how to work with service providers to better address student need.

“I strongly believe that an integral part of a university education should also include personal development, to better equip students to learn the skills to fulfil their potential in study, in work and in life.”

Tim Daplyn, Managing Director of Red Brick Research, added: “We are delighted to be hosting this conference here in the UK in the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the NHS. This conference presents a unique opportunity for those designing and delivering the student experience to be inspired by new insights and emerging best practice from around the world.”