UCLan top of the league for investment in student wellbeing

7 February 2020

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has come top of a national wellbeing league table.

The 2020 Student Welfare League Table, which analyses the amount of money higher education institutions put into their student wellbeing services, has ranked UCLan in first position.

During the 2018/19 academic year, the University’s total spend on student wellbeing services was £6.2 million, nearly £1 million more than the second placed institution.

The University provides a wide range of facilities and support for all 38,000 students and staff within the UCLan community.

Every student has access to a team of trained counsellors and mental health advisors while a dedicated team provides inclusivity advice and support to students with a disability or learning difficulty.

UCLan’s Financial Support Team offers more than £1 million in hardship loans to students who need additional financial support. The team also manages several bursaries that are open to students, including student carers, care leavers and estranged students.

The University invests twice a year in a dedicated Welcome Team to ensure new starters have all the relevant support and information they need, including for those leaving home for the first time or for mature students returning to education.

The Pre-School Centre allows those students with young children to attend their academic sessions while the UCLan Careers Team offers a one-stop shop to help students progress to their chosen career.

The University also offers a free late-night bus to all students living in the vicinity of the Preston Campus while the Safety and Security Team are also available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Physical wellbeing plays an important role too and all students are entitled to free sports membership of the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre, one of the region’s best multi-sport facilities, and the 64-acre UCLan Sports Arena.

Dr Andrew Ireland, UCLan’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students and Teaching), said: “We are absolutely delighted to be top of the 2020 Student Welfare League Table.

“At UCLan we take students’ health and wellbeing extremely seriously and seek to provide our students with support in the most meaningful ways possible. Our aim is to create an inspirational student experience, enabling people, irrespective of their backgrounds, to fulfil their potential. Investment in student support services plays a key role in this aspiration.

“Our dedication to student support can be seen through the creation of our £60 million student centre and civic square project. This thriving, open space, which is being built with sustainability, accessibility and student wellbeing in mind, will help every student by providing easy access to an extensive network of support services, and a modern environment to work and play.

“Alongside communal areas and a rooftop garden, the welcoming landmark will house the full breadth of UCLan’s vital student support services, from mental health provision and careers advice to course information and accommodation assistance.”

The study was commissioned by Beeja Meditation and collated the data using Freedom of Information requests.

Will Williams, Founding Member of Beeja Meditation, said: “It’s really encouraging to see that so many universities are investing in the wellbeing of their staff and students.

“Naturally, the larger universities will have bigger spends as they will have bigger incomes, but it’s great that, as a whole, more is being done to ensure that the welfare needs of people in higher education are being adequately met.”

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