News

How can we improve student wellbeing?


11 December 2013

Enriching the student experience is at the heart of our strategic plan, encouraging the best possible engagement and support. The critical role played by staff in identifying and delivering the services that support wellbeing offers vital insights into the challenges and opportunities in supporting students.

Formed in June this year, the Student Wellbeing Working Group draws together academic and professional staff from the University, as well as student representatives and senior academics responsible for student wellbeing at other universities, to examine current wellbeing support and identify the optimum way to deliver student welfare and wellbeing services.

"We need to ensure that students know where to go for assistance and whether the assistance provided is targeted to their needs,' said Professor Kathy Refshauge, chair of the Student Wellbeing Project Working Group, which reports directly to the Senior Executive Group (SEG).

The early stages of the project have focused on gathering data, including analysis of previous reviews around student wellbeing. To ensure that the voice of our students has been heard, consultations have been held with student representatives from across all faculties. The directors of relevant support services have also met with the working group to provide insight into the existing landscape and connections with other services, and outstanding needs in the current climate. External reports about student wellbeing have provided additional context.

"We also need to identify where there may be gaps, and whether our support services are well connected to each other. It's critical that the delivery of such services is seamless from the students' perspective, potentially a 'one-stop' shop approach."

While the University has undertaken a number of reviews of student wellbeing previously, Professor Refshauge said that she wanted this working group to make meaningful recommendations to provide the University with a map to shape student services so that our students have a world-leading university experience.

The next steps of the project will include further examination of the evidence gathered so far, moving towards a set of draft recommendations for SEG.

If you would like to provide any feedback or insight to the project, please contact Stella Vasiliadis (stella.vasiliadis@sydney.edu.au).