Overall task: To produce a report of 2,500 words (plus or minus 10%) related to ONE of the following wellbeing issues in the case organisation below: (i) safety; (ii) mental health (iii) being from a non-majority ethnic group (i.e. different cultural background)
The University of ‘West Moorland’ has a student population of 22,000 students, comprising approximately 17,000 undergraduates and 5,000 postgraduates across a range of programmes, e.g. business, health sciences, science & engineering, social sciences, humanities. The University’s management structure can be found in the attached document.
Approximately 80% of undergraduates are from the UK (72%) or Europe (8%), with the rest from other overseas locations. By contrast, approximately 75% of postgraduates are international students, coming predominantly from Middle Eastern countries, China and Thailand. In terms of gender, 54% of all students identify as female and 46% as male. Staff also come from a range of backgrounds, with 18% declaring themselves as non-white, and 6% of staff being from unknown backgrounds.
The university is currently midway through a campus redevelopment programme, which includes a new science and engineering block and three new on-site student accommodation blocks. One of the three onsite accommodation blocks has just opened and the other two are due to be open within the next 18 months. The remainder of the faculty and administrative buildings on campus are a mix of Victorian buildings, alongside buildings from the 1960s-70s era. Currently, 65% of all students live in student accommodation, some of which is on the main campus and some of which is located within 1 mile of the campus.
Like many universities the University of West Moorland’s ‘Student Welfare’ team has seen an increase in issues related to wellbeing over the last three years, with their student support services under increasing pressure. There has been a 30% increase in demand for counselling services, with a 15% rise in the past 12 months alone. One in five students is currently using or waiting to use counselling services. A recent survey by the Students Union, which indicated that 1 in 4 students had suffered some form of sexual harassment since leaving home and starting university has seen an increase in students reporting such issues in recent weeks. The disability and learner support service currently works with around 7% of students, and has seen a 3 % increase in the number of students presenting over the last 3 years.
Staff in the ‘Student Welfare” team have recently voiced their concerns that the actual number of mental health issues is likely to be higher than have been disclosed, with a larger rise in disclosure of mental health conditions among female students. They have also voiced concerns that support for students is fragmented.
Academic staff are also reporting finding themselves discussing emotional wellbeing and mental health issues with their tutees and students in general on a more frequent basis than ever before, despite the fact that the vast majority are not trained in this area. Several have started to voice their own wellbeing concerns as they strive to provide ‘teaching excellence’ and obtain research funding in a general context of job insecurity.
Guidance and marking scheme
Your report should address the following:
• Provide an overview of the wellbeing issue, utilising and referencing relevant policy documents and academic literature (20 marks)
• Identify priorities for the organisation to address in relation to the wellbeing issue that you have selected (20 marks)
• Make recommendations as to how the organisation should address the wellbeing issue, referring to the topics covered in Part A of the module and resources discussed (30 marks)
• Relate the issues in this case to organisations and the workforce in general (for example, what similar types of issues might other organisations face, what types of worker might be susceptible to this issue, what recommendations may apply, and how, to other organisations) (30 marks)
• Your report should contain a minimum of 7 references, which are correctly referenced as per the university’s APA referencing system (see guidance in the Assessment section of Blackboard). Failure to do will incur a 5% penalty.