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This HEPI blog was kindly authored by Professor Harriet Dunbar-Morris, Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic at the University of Buckingham.

In a world that has changed due to the Covid pandemic and the cost of living, students are increasingly less able to engage with standalone support provided by institutions. They are also less well-prepared for higher education study, having undertaken parts of their secondary education during the pandemic, not always together in a classroom and not always with exams in exam halls and under strict exam conditions, as previous generations had done.

This is why it is so important to support our students to help themselves with wellbeing and resilience. For me the best way to do that is to ensure this is done within the curriculum, so that everyone is catered for – it is not opt-in and only for those who can attend additional activities out of teaching hours. Embedding Wellbeing into the Curriculum: A Good Compendium of Good Practice, published by Advance HE last month, is an important step forward in developing understanding in this area.

Concern for wellbeing in the curriculum is not new, of course, but currently it feels more urgent than ever before. The aim of the Compendium, which I compiled together with peers at Swansea University (Joanne Berry), University of Portsmouth (Fiona Cook) and Bangor University (Fran Garrad-Cole) is therefore to highlight specific examples of how colleagues in the UK and beyond think they have improved student wellbeing through their teaching, and to explore their differing understandings of wellbeing.

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