On Monday, the government announced its long-awaited package of measures to see the higher education sector through the Covid-19 pandemic. Student Minds are pleased to see that the government is taking action, but note that the concerns and input of the sector must be incorporated into any policy interventions designed to support the sector.
At Student Minds, we are hopeful that the government will provide further support for the over 2.5 million higher education students and staff who are key to the national response to the pandemic, but are also highly exposed to its impact. The pandemic has brought great uncertainty and precarity, which has the potential to greatly impact the wellbeing of our university communities and the long-term sustainability of the sector. In addition to this, the ongoing challenges to staff and student mental health continue and may intensify.
Universities are critical in our response to Covid-19. They are centres of research and innovation, they train and support frontline workers across a variety of sectors, and are anchor institutions in their local economies. Damage to our university communities will be felt across the country, and now more than ever their contribution to society is evident.
Student Minds CEO, Rosie Tressler OBE, said: “Students and staff from across the higher education sector have blown us away with their commitment, hard work and bravery at the frontlines of this pandemic. However, we recognise the immense pressure that they are under right now.
“If we do not act, we could see the ripples of this pandemic for years to come in the mental health of our students, graduates, and staff. That’s why we continue to add our voice to a network of organisations asking the government to provide dedicated and additional help to support the wellbeing of university students across the country”.
Collaboration is key now more than ever and we will continue to work in partnership with government departments and stakeholders across the sector. Student Minds will strive for effective support which protects and improves the mental health of everyone in higher education.