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University launches Vision on Student Well-Being: ‘An open culture where we look out for one another’

How can we work together to create a safe study and learning environment and offer students the support that they need? The Vision on Student Well-Being outlines the University’s plans to promote student well-being in the coming years.

Challenges for students

University is often seen as the best years of your life. You study, make friends for life and develop personally and professionally. But studying can also have its challenges, such as deadline stress, uncertainty, difficulty finding accommodation and financial worries. ‘We need to be able to talk about student well-being in an open culture where we look out for one another and can say we need help or support,’ said Rector Magnificus Hester Bijl. ‘We want to be a healthy, engaged and learning community where students can work on their personal and professional development.’

Prevention, support and taking the initiative

The Vision on Student Well-Being is based on the premise that it is the University takes responsibility for creating a learning environment that fosters student well-being. This is an environment in which students who feel their well-being deteriorating are encouraged to take the initiative and if necessary, seek prompt help. The University offers a range of support to help students tackle any problems at an early stage.

The support is readily available and information about this is easy to find. Lecturers and student support staff also know what is expected of them in terms of student well-being and possess (or have access to) the knowledge required to support students or, if necessary, refer them to external support. The teaching focuses on transferable skills such as reflection and resilience that enable students to monitor and improve their well-being.

Promote student well-being together

The University focuses a lot of attention on the mental, social and physical well-being of its students. Its support ranges from an annual Student Well-Being Week to buddy programmes, student support groups, workshops and eHealth programmes. Each faculty now has a student well-being officer.

The Vision on Student Well-Being, which has now been adopted by the Executive Board, sets out objectives that the faculties will work on in the coming years together with the Student and Educational Affairs (SEA) expertise centre. They will present their joint implementation plan this summer (2023).

The Vision on Student Well-being derives from the shared ambition to continue to work together to build a healthy, engaged and learning community (Innovating and Connecting 2022-2027, the University’s Strategic Plan). The vision was developed with input from students and staff from all the faculties and is also in line with the Administrative Agreement on Higher Education and Science

The Dean of Leiden Law School, Joanna van der Leun, will present the Vision on Student Well-being at the staff symposium on student well-being on Thursday 25 March. If you are a staff member at Leiden University and want to share your best practices with other members of the student support staff and come up with new ideas in interactive workshops, sign up for the symposium.

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