The cause is the wellbeing study from 2019, which showed that eighty percent of participating UT students are struggling to a greater or lesser extent with stress, depression or anxiety complaints. The UT now has a plan of action for student wellbeing, in which it focuses on strengthening the current offerings, which is primarily focused on prevention.
The budget goes mainly to courses for care providers and students. ‘Student counseling and well-being is a real chain approach at the UT’, says Hans Oeloff, director of CES. ‘From study advisers to counselors and from the buddy system to student psychologists. In the coming year we will continue to train these care providers and students so that they can recognize signals early.’ In addition, the Center for Educational Support (CES) and the faculties are investing in additional study advisors and psychologists.
According to Oeloff, the UT has more than fifty activities focused on student welfare. ‘We are well appreciated in the National Student Survey (NSE) and the International Student Barometer (ISB). But it is now important to get our facilities more under the attention of vulnerable groups, such as female students, students who belong to the LGBTI group, international bachelor students and students with a functional disability. The digital and physical Contact Center in the Paviljoen to be set up is an important step in that direction.’
The Personal Circumstances Committee (CPO) warned at the end of 2019 that international undergraduate students are experiencing problems with housing and that they sometimes get into financial trouble because they depend on scholarships and sponsors. ‘The relationship with those problems and student well-being has not yet been properly established’, says Oeloff. ‘The joint universities are working on a student well-being vision in VSNU context. Those themes will be given a place in that vision.’
The action plan will be discussed in the coming meeting of the University Council.