Over Half of UK University Students Claim Their Mental Health Was Not Supported Enough This Year, Survey Finds

Over half of UK university and college students have claimed that they have not received enough mental health support during 2021, while only 42 percent said they felt supported, this year’s annual National Student Survey by the Office for Students (OfS) has revealed.

The survey, which was assembled between January and April 2021, gathered 332,500 responses from students in the UK asking the latter about their academic experience in general. 

The Head of the Office for Students (OfS), Nicola Dandridge, expressed concerns over the survey results, adding that last year’s circumstances were exceptional; however, more should be done in order to ensure students are appropriately supported, Erudera.com reports.

“As prospective and current students look to the autumn, it will be important that universities combine credible plans to restore face-to-face teaching with sensible contingency planning in the event that some restrictions need to continue,” Dandridge said.

Nevertheless, England’s Universities Minister Michelle Donelan pointed out that up to £256m were allocated to universities to help students.

“I recognise that the past 18 months have been uniquely difficult for students, and we have set out clear expectations that the quality and quantity of tuition should be maintained,” Donelan said.

This year, 74 percent of students participating in the survey said that they could access specific resources related to their courses, whereas last year, 87 percent of students had access to equipment or facilities.

Moreover, 84 percent of students claimed that staff had managed to explain things well compared to 89 percent feeling this way in 2020. Other results show that 76 percent of students agreed that their course had challenged them to achieve better performance.

The Chief Executive of Universities UK, Alistair Jarvis, said that the results were not surprising as it was expected that the pandemic would change students’ views on their academic experience after an unusual year.

It has earlier been reported that the number of students in the UK asking for mental health support has marked an increase, with two-thirds of students reporting mental health issues during this academic year, the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) data published on March 10 revealed.

In a statement, the Universities UK (UUK) also called on the government to supply immediate funds for wellbeing and mental health services across the country’s universities.

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