What is a Healthy University?
A Healthy University adopts a holistic understanding of health; takes a whole university approach; and aspires to create a learning environment and organisational culture that enhances the health, wellbeing and sustainability of its community and enables people to achieve their full potential.
The 2015 Okanagan International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges sets out the following vision:
“Health Promoting Universities and Colleges transform the health and sustainability of our current and future societies, strengthen communities and contribute to the wellbeing of people, places and the planet…They infuse health into everyday operations, business practices and academic mandates. By doing so, they enhance the success of our institutions; create campus cultures of compassion, wellbeing, equity and social justice; improve the health of the people who live, learn, work, play and love on our campuses; and strengthen the ecological, social and economic sustainability of our communities and wider society.”
This whole university approach embraced by Healthy Universities has three overarching aims:
- To create healthy, supportive and sustainable learning, working and living environments for students, staff and visitors
- To increase the profile of health and sustainability in the university’s core business – its learning, research and knowledge exchange
- To connect with and contribute to the health, wellbeing and sustainability of the wider community.
Additionally, universities are strongly encouraged to evaluate their work, building evidence of effectiveness and sharing learning.