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Student blogs: Maintaining mental wellbeing at university

Taking care of your mental health may not be at the top of your list of priorities at university. However, having recently graduated and looking back, I wish I'd known when I started uni that my own mental health should come before anything else. At the start of my final year at university, I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder, having frequent panic attacks which affected every aspect of my life. I found that I was missing lectures regularly due to the fact that I just didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. Throughout university, I always felt as if I wasn’t good enough and that I was the worst performing on my course — actually, I always felt this way at school too. But skipping lec

Baroness Ruth Henig becomes ProtectED Patron

(Left to right) Trevor Jones, Dr Luba Pirgova-Morgan, Prof. Allan Walker, Baroness Ruth Henig, Brian Nuttall, Dr Caroline Davey, Andrew Wootton, Dave Humphries, and Dr Lucy Winrow. We are delighted to announce Baroness Ruth Henig as the new Patron of ProtectED, the first Code of Practice and national accreditation scheme for ensuring the safety, security and wellbeing of university students. Lady Henig is a historian, political activist, and a Deputy Speaker in the House of Lords. During her 24 years as a Labour member of Lancashire County Council, she chaired the Lancashire Community Safety Partnership and served as Chair of the Lancashire Police Authority, later being appointed President o

Student Blogs: My guide to student budgeting

It’s halfway through the semester and, if you’re like me, money may be starting to get a little bit tight. Between having to budget for food, textbooks, rent, bills and socialising… there’s a lot to try and squeeze out of that student loan. Handling your finances can be stressful, so trying to stay on top of them is really important. A little bit of organisation and some insider hints and tips will hopefully set you on the right track to becoming a pro at student budgeting. Know what your money is being spent on This may sound like an obvious one, but knowing where your money is going each week will make it a lot easier to budget effectively. I find that having a visual outline of how much I

First ever national survey launched to investigate staff sexual misconduct in higher education

Today the National Union of Students and The 1752 Group launch the first ever national survey in the UK looking at staff sexual misconduct in higher education. Recent high profile media reports of higher education staff abusing their positions of power, and universities failing to protect their students, have led to calls for the sector to improve their practice in this area. However, change is inhibited by a lack of research and data, as the most recent research in the UK is from the 1990s. While the Association of American Universities and Universities Australia have both included staff sexual misconduct in their recent reports, no equivalent study has been carried out in the UK. The new s

Mind The Gap: The mental health society for University of Newcastle students

Barely a week goes by without the issue of student mental health appearing in the news, along with calls to tackle what is often termed a 'mental health crisis' at UK universities. Earlier this year, Universities UK launched the Step Change framework for mental health in higher education. It is hoped that this important development will be a catalyst for change across the sector. Step Change working group chair, Professor Steve West, is now encouraging universities to "adopt mental health as a strategic priority, implementing a whole university approach, with students and staff involved at all stages of the journey." One purpose of the ProtectED blogs is to draw attention to some of the good

Student blogs: The diaries of a mature student - Part 4

It gets colder, darker and there is nothing much to report. Fatigue is my constant companion, partly caused by a never ending list of tasks I have to perform, partly caused by my immune system gone crazy. My days are currently filled with lots of writing and reading. At a postgraduate level, you really have to get organised and be self-motivated to manage the workload, or else you may not realise there is a workload until two days before the deadline for essays and assignments. Sometimes I wonder if one day there will be that one extra thing that will make me feel that I can’t manage. I hope not. This is a marathon, and I am determined to last the distance. Nonetheless, something else in my

Student blogs: Considering a postgraduate degree when you have a mental illness

Those who are a good chunk into their final year of their undergraduate degree, or perhaps even earlier, are probably starting to think about whether or not they want to continue onto postgraduate studies. There are many things to consider when looking into continuing your university education: money, accommodation, which course suits your needs and whether you really want to stay in academia. Something a lot of students will be thinking about is mental illness. Mental illness is an obstacle a lot of students come up against during their studies. Many students experience symptoms of mental ill health such as depression and anxiety during their undergraduate degree due to the stress of increa

Guest blog: #notallheroeswearcapes – Portering team goes ‘above and beyond’ at the University of Che

Who do you call when you have a worry, a health concern or safety issue in the middle of the night? No, not Ghostbusters, but the Porters at the University of Chester. These 24-hour heroes play a significant role in the support, engagement and retention of students across the University’s sites. Their impact is so positive that they won the Educate North 2017 Student Experience award and have been nominated for a Chester Student’s Union Above and Beyond award, acknowledging how they go the extra mile. The Porters (affectionately known as ‘Quality Portering Service’) provide expert, immediate and effective support to countless students of all ages and backgrounds. With more than 200 years of

Campus Living Villages: Ensuring student wellbeing in private accommodation

According to the NUS, as many as 70% of students may experience homesickness at university. This is perhaps unsurprising when you consider that many students will be living away from home for the first time. When the excitement of Freshers’ Week subsides, reality sets in – budgeting and paying bills, shopping for and preparing meals, dealing with home security, and navigating an unfamiliar city, all with reduced access to the usual support network of family and friends back home. The pressures associated with moving to university can test students with a pre-existing mental health condition, and may cause otherwise healthy individuals to become vulnerable; the rise in students accessing ment

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