University Mental Health: Life in a Pandemic
Throughout 2020 and 2021, higher education communities have faced a range of unique and wide-reaching challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact. Students and staff have experienced significant disruption and uncertainty as universities have adapted to remote working and learning environments. These challenges, coupled with the inherent stress and uncertainty of a global pandemic, have impacted the mental health and wellbeing of members of our university communities.
As the UK’s student mental health charity, we made it our priority to listen to higher education communities. Through our own research, we found:
Our findings are explored throughout the report, which covers topics including (but not limited to): the Black and Minority Ethnic Experience in the last year, Women’s Safety at University, accommodation, finances, experiences of online learning, staff wellbeing, and access to support.
The report includes a set of policy recommendations, aimed at supporting the higher education and health sectors to move beyond the pandemic positively. These include:
A full, detailed list of our recommendations is also available from page 69 of the report, or in our executive summary.
Download the report, as well as the executive summary and a statistics sheet with our headline findings below. We hope that the report offers a helpful starting point for both the higher education and health sectors to reflect on the impact of the past 18 months and plan for positive steps forward, beyond the pandemic.
Update: March 2022
Since publishing University Mental Health: Life in a Pandemic, we’ve witnessed the end of coronavirus restrictions in England along with the beginning of a new academic year. We have also conducted two further waves of research; the second in September 2021 and the third in January 2022.
This research was funded by Office for Students and Higher Education Funding Council for Wales as part of Student Space.