We geek out over student wellbeing research, so you don't have to

You *might* already have enough on your plate, so we’ve put together some of the best research papers around on Student Wellbeing.

Strangely – they all pretty much say the same thing – create a focus on prevention!

Which feels like something for the too hard basket (relax, we’re here to take it out for you), so that you can do the stuff that’s on your ‘one day I’ll have time’ list.

We even enlisted IEP Advisory to complete an independent mapping of your compliance requirements and contemporary research, to our programs, so you can rest assured that we’ve got your back.

What Now?

Whilst more and more research is being conducted (which is great) there’s not much happening in the terms of what changes to make in the light of it.

That’s where we help you shine, by doing the heavy lifting and creating programs and events that help you exceed your compliance requirements.

Research-informed model

We believe it’s not good enough to talk about the problem without also looking for, and implementing, practical solutions. That’s why we take a research-informed, student-centered, preventative approach to student wellbeing.

Out of the Too Hard Basket

We’ve made it easy and effortless for you to provide practical, preventative, useful and FUN student wellbeing activities. We do all the hard stuff – you just bring the students! (ok, that’s hard too, but with our 3-level student wellbeing compliance programs – pre-recorded, live-by-zoom and live in-house – you’ll have wait lists for everything…) #highqualityproblems

Prevention is better than cure

We wear seat belts for prevention of harm… but wait until students are in crisis before providing support! what?

Doing the same-old same-old while students fall even deeper into a vortex of despair is not only not useful, it’s cruel at best and downright negligent at worst.

That’s why we proactively build the life and work skills students’ need now and in their future.


The biggest surprise for us is the sheer weight of numbers of struggling students… like 95% of them…

The recommendations, however, don’t surprise us… they’re things that we believe are vital – proactive, preventative support.

and ummm, it’s the law and that…

so,  yeh, turns out that providers have a real duty of care to protect the wellbeing of their students, hidden in boring (and vital) government documents like these two, that can lead to serious consequences (like getting shut down) if you’re not complying:

Higher Education Standards Framework (2021)

National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018

There are heaps more studies by people way smarter than us and with more PhDs than you can poke a stick at that are all pretty much saying the same thing… and yet change has been at glacial speed at best. We think that’s because making change has been put in the ‘too hard’ basket… but as human behaviour experts, we know that change can happen in a heart beat… all it takes is someone brave enough to say yes… is that you?

These are some of our favourite reports:

Australian University Mental Health Framework (2020, Orygen) includes a bunch of principles including:

  • The student experience is enhanced through mental health and wellbeing approaches that are informed by students’ needs, perspectives and the reality of their experiences.
  • Mentally healthy university communities encourage participation; foster a diverse, inclusive environment; promote connectedness; and support academic and personal achievement.
  • The response to mental health and wellbeing is strengthened through collaboration and coordinated actions.

International Students and their Mental Health and Physical Safety (June, 2020 by Orgyen) made seven ‘good practice’ recommendations including:

  • prevention and early identification of risk or emerging issues
  • enhancing connections and belonging
  • building mental health and physical safety literacy and awareness
  • promoting and facilitating access to supports on campus or in the community
  • whole of provider commitment through policy and leadership

The Impact of Accommodation on Student Wellbeing (Australia & New Zealand Nov 2019) report finds that:

  • 95% of university students are struggling to the extent that it’s having a negative impact on their wellbeing
  • that nearly 20% have seriously considered dropping out
  • that an accommodation management team that takes wellbeing seriously, positively impacts a students’ experience.

The 2019 Mental Wellbeing Survey of Prospective International and Overseas Students for Bupa made six recommendations including:

  • A greater focus on early intervention as a means to reduce the prevalence and severity of mental illness
  • Build mental health acumen and reduce mental health-related stigma to enhance help-seeking behaviour
  • Create opportunities for international students to build social connections and support networks while studying in Australia.

National Student Wellbeing Survey Report 2016 by headspace and the National Union of Students, didn’t make any recommendations, but reported a plethora of scary stats like 72% of students reporting at least one day in the past month when they were totally unable to work or study due to symptoms of mental health problems. Yep, that nearly three quarters!

The productivity uplift from better outcomes for our university students by Ernst & Young in 2019 found that the productivity uplift from improving outcomes for university students could add $3.1 billion a year to GDP by 2030…. which could happen if more uni students knew how to manage their mental health better so they could graduate.

The wicked problem of university student mental health 2016 report by Monash University Churchill Fellowship recipient Benjamin Veness made seven key findings including that on-campus treatment services should be supplemented by preventative health strategies…couldn’t agree more Ben!

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