Transformation and cultural change

Reports & Other Resources

Reports, publications and resources on Healthy Universities and related themes.

Healthy Universities – General

Developing Leadership and Governance for Healthy Universities Final Report, 2012 Final Report of the HEFCE-funded ‘Developing Leadership and Governance for Healthy Universities’ Project

Developing Leadership and Governance for Healthy Universities Final Report, 2012: Executive Summary Executive Summary Report of the HEFCE-funded ‘Developing Leadership and Governance for Healthy Universities’ Project

Fair Society Healthy Lives: A Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England Post, 2010 Fair Society Healthy Lives: A Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England Post 2010 is the final report of the Marmot review. It champions a social determinants approach to reducing health inequalities.

Okanagan Charter: An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges, 2015 This exciting charter is a key outcome of the 2015 International Conference on Health Promoting Universities and Colleges / VII International Congress, attended by 375 participants from over 30 different countries. The Charter sets out this bold and integrated 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.”

University of Central Lancashire Healthy University Action Plan, 2015 This three-year action plan developed by the University of Central Lancashire was developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including, students, staff and external colleagues. It supports the delivery of the UCLan Strategy 2015-2020, which pledges to achieve ‘a healthy university committed to the physical and mental wellbeing of its students and staff’.

University College Cork Health Promoting University ‘Health Matters’ Action Plan, 2012 An action plan developed by University College Cork as part of its ‘Health Matters’ Initiative, with the aim of stimulating ‘whole system’ change so that the health and wellbeing of students and staff becomes a prominent part of the culture of our university and is at the forefront of all policy and activity.

WHO Health Promoting Universities Document, 1998 This World Health Organisation working document provides conceptual and practical guidance on how to set up and develop a health-promoting university project.

Alcohol, Tobacco & Substance Use/Misuse

Alcohol and Drugs Prevention in Colleges and Universities, 2007 A review of the literature published by Mentor UK.

E-Cigarettes – Collated Summary of Network Members’ Policies and Approaches, 2014 Summary collating information received from members following an information request regarding e-cigarettes.

Sensible Drinking Amongst Students in HEIs in the South West Region, 2009 An exploration of current practice relating to the promotion of sensible drinking across 12 of the HEIs on the South West Region published by the University of the West of England

Unitcheck Alcohol Resource Unitcheck is a free alcohol resource which has been developed by Leeds Institute of Health Sciences at the University of Leeds. It is a questionnaire style resource which gives individuals personal feedback on potential risks to health and comparisons with peer behaviour. Students can access to the Unitcheck tool by registering at

Mental Wellbeing

Mental Health of Students in Higher Education, 2011 Second edition of Report published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which champions the Healthy Universities approach.

NUS Wales ‘How Are You?’ Student Guide to Mental Health and Wellbeing, 2013 Includes information, myths and facts about mental health.

NUS Wales ‘How Are You?’ Students’ Union Officer Students and Mental Health Briefing, 2013 Includes includes information about mental health issues; advice about supporting students with mental health problems; and campaign guidance.

Student Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education: Good Practice Guide, 2015 Universities UK commissioned the Mental Wellbeing in Higher Education Working Group to update existing guidance, drawing on evidence and practice from within the higher education sector and reports from government and the health and voluntary sectors. This guidance – which profiles the Healthy Universities approach – has been written for senior leaders and managers, and aims to support institutions in their promotion of mental wellbeing and in the support they provide for students experiencing mental health difficulties.

Understanding provision for students with mental health problems and intensive support needs This report presents the findings of a research project undertaken for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to update its understanding of institutional support provision for students with mental health problems and other impairments with high cost or intensive support needs.

The Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2016 This Public Health England report describes the importance of mental health and wellbeing among children and young people and the case for investment in mental health. It also summarises the evidence of what works to improve mental health among children and young people in order to inform local transformation of services.

StepChange: Mental Health in Higher Education, 2017 Universities UK (UUK) published this framework in September 2017 to support higher education institutions to improve the mental health of students and staff. It was launched alongside associated research conducted by Institute for Public  Policy Research. The aim of the framework is to encourage  university leaders to adopt a strategic whole-organisation and whole-population approach to mental health. Importantly, the UK Healthy Universities Network was represented on the expert working group, inspiring, challenging, and shaping this work. The framework emphasises that a whole population  approach to mental health is needed, providing support for those in need and building awareness, resilience, and better understanding for all. A whole university approach to mental health is encouraged. This asks universities to take a joined-up approach to transform cultures and embed mental health activities beyond student services, encouraging supportive living and learning communities. Informed by the Okanagan Charter for Health Promoting Universities & Colleges and the UK Healthy Universities Network, the eight-step framework highlights the different areas that senior teams should look at when adopting this approach. It intends to shift the attention from a ‘deficit’ approach to an ‘asset’ approach, meaning that as well as having timely and accessible support services in place, universities should be working on prevention and early intervention, aligning support for students and staff, and collaborating with different stakeholders within and outside of the university.

Thriving at Work: The Stevenson / Farmer Review of Mental Health and Employers, 2017 This report provides an independent review of mental health and employers by Lord Dennis Stevenson and Paul Farmer. It sets out what employers can do to better support all employees, including those with mental health problems to remain in and thrive through work. It also includes a detailed analysis that explores the significant cost of poor mental health to UK businesses and the economy as a whole.

Transitions and Know Before You Go, 2018 This Student Minds resource focuses on the challenge of transitioning from school to university and contains lots of useful tips for students ranging from paying bills, study skills and flatmate issues to identity questions, embedded throughout is how to maintain good mental health and seek help as needed.

Minding Our Future: Starting a Conversation about the Support of Student Mental Health, 2018 This Universities UK report contains new guidance to improve the coordination of care between the NHS and universities, so that all students can access the care they need.

Guidance for Universities on Preventing Student Suicides, 2018 The guide includes advice on developing a strategy focused specifically on suicide prevention, covering the following areas:

  • Steps to prevent student suicide
  • Intervening when students get into difficulties
  • Best practice for responding to student suicides
  • Case studies on approaches to suicide prevention through partnership working
  • Checklist highlighting steps university leaders can take to make their communities safer

Health Education England: ‘We Need to Talk About Suicide’, 2018 ‘We need to talk about suicide: helping everyone to feel more confident to talk about suicide’, is an eLearning programme that has been developed for the wider public health workforce, informed by people who have attempted to take their own lives and those bereaved and affected by suicide.

Staff Wellbeing

Improving performance through wellbeing and engagement, 2011 This HEFCE-funded project focused on staff performance, engagement and wellbeing – and finished in 2011. The legacy of the project has been handed over to the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), which will take forward the work. The products of the project can be found on the UCEA site.

On Your Feet Britain Study, 2015 A study exploring the effectiveness of simple behaviour change campaigns in higher education institution settings – aimed at reducing sedentary behaviour by academics.

Universities Human Resources: Changing Times in UK Universities – What Difference Can HR Make? 2012 This research report, written by Linda Holbeche, considers the current contributions and strengths of HR within higher education – and also outlines ways in which the contribution could be strengthened and improved.

Workplace Wellbeing Tool, 2013 Health, Work and Well-being’s Workplace Wellbeing Tool – a free resource to help employers estimate the business cost of poor health.

Workplace Wellbeing Charter, 2012 The Charter is a health, safety and wellbeing award scheme endorsed by Public Health England and Dame Professor Carol Black. This provides organisations of all sizes with best practice advice, guidance and support to improve workplace health and wellbeing. There are over 40 funded programmes throughout England which provide support and accreditation free of charge.

Thriving at Work: The Stevenson / Farmer Review of Mental Health and Employers, 2017 This report provides an independent review of mental health and employers by Lord Dennis Stevenson and Paul Farmer. It sets out what employers can do to better support all employees, including those with mental health problems to remain in and thrive through work. It also includes a detailed analysis that explores the significant cost of poor mental health to UK businesses and the economy as a whole.

Sustainability, Corporate Responsibility & Social Value

Green Gown Awards 2019 Case Studies:

Green Gown Awards 2018 Case Studies:

Degrees of value, 2011 How universities benefit society.

Education for Sustainable Development The Higher Education Academy, QAA, NUS and HEFCE have all sought to encourage and support institutions and subject communities to develop curricula and pedagogy that will give students the skills and knowledge to live and work sustainably. These web pages provide information and further links to relevant reports and publications.

Education for Sustainable Development (Unesco) Education for Sustainable Development allows every human being to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future. Education for Sustainable Development means including key sustainable development issues into teaching and learning.

How Can Universities Support Disadvantaged Communities? 2012 A report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (research by Fred Robinson, Ian Zass-Ogilvie and Ray Hudson) exploring what universities can do to help disadvantaged people by providing access to opportunities and facilities, resources and expertise.

Learning in Future Environments (LiFE) Learning in Future Environments (LiFE) is a comprehensive performance improvement system developed specifically to help colleges and universities to manage, measure, improve and promote their social responsibility and sustainability performance. It has been developed and delivered by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges with generous support from its partners.

Sustainable development in higher education: HEFCE’s role to date and a framework for its future actions This document sets out some of the ways in which higher education contributes to sustainable development, and proposes a framework for HEFCE’s support for the sector. It encompasses our earlier policy statements on sustainable development and carbon reduction, and will influence our future funding.

Universities and the green economy: graduates for the future, 2012 The HEA held its first Policy ‘Think Tank’ in February 2012 to investigate how the HE sector can contribute to ‘greening the economy’. The think tank was a stimulating event packed with illuminating discussions, innovative ideas, and valuable contributions from inspirational speakers and delegates from across HE, student bodies, and industry.

Universities that Count: A Report on Benchmarking Environmental and Corporate Responsibility in Higher Education, 2007 Report published by Business in the Community.

University Challenge: Towards a Well-Being Approach to Quality in Higher Education, 2009 Report published by the New Economics Foundation (commissioned by QAA).

Sustainability Leadership Scorecard EAUC, partnering with AUDE and Arup, have launched the Sustainability Leadership Scorecard, which enables a single, engaging indicator of performance and gaps that is easy to understand and communicate. Focusing on Leadership & Governance, Partnership & Engagement, Learning, Teaching & Research, and Estates & Operations, it includes a focus on health and wellbeing with reference to being a Healthy University.

Green Gown Awards 2018 Winners/Case Studies:

Videos & Other Resources

Designing Healthy Campus Communities Short animated video produced by Simon Fraser University in collaboration with the Canadian Mental Health Association.


Meningitis Aware Recognition Mark for Universities, 2018 Meningitis Now is committed to raising awareness of meningitis and provides a number of useful resources and guides. It has also launched a recognition mark for universities.

Violence, Harassment and Consent

Changing the culture: Report of the Universities UK Taskforce examining violence against women, harassment and hate crime affecting university students, 2016 This report summarises the evidence considered by the Universities UK Taskforce to examine violence against women, harassment and hate crime affecting university students, and makes a series of recommendations for universities and UUK. These recommendations cover both prevention activities and how universities can respond to these issues more effectively in future.