Developing resilience in HE: a new toolkit for Student Services

Resilience toolkitToday AMOSSHE launched a new sector resource: the resilience toolkit – an open, online resource bank of research, case studies and practical tools to help Student Services professionals in higher education develop student resilience to stress, anxiety and similar barriers to achievement and success.

The project was made possible by funding from Unite Students, the UK’s largest manager and developer of purpose-built student accommodation, who are driven to provide a ‘Home For Success’ for almost 50,000 students across the UK. It builds on the theoretical model published in their Student Resilience: Exploring the positive case for resilience report, which explores the positive case for resilience.

The resilience toolkit is a practical and educational resource, drawing on publicly available materials from around the world, to help Student Services professionals develop new strategies and approaches underpinned by research, and to learn from others’ experiences. The toolkit advocates a positive and proactive approach to student resilience, focusing on what higher education providers can do to develop supportive, enabling cultures for students by making improvements to their physical and social environment.

What’s in the toolkit?

The resources are grouped into three key approaches to developing student resilience, which arose from the research into student resilience by Unite Students:

  • Emotional control – use these resources to help students control their emotional responses to the negative experiences they may encounter academically or socially while studying.
  • Self-management – use these resources to help students develop self-management techniques for dealing with stress, anxiety and the pressures of higher education.
  • Social integration / networks / relationships – use these resources to help students feel integrated, develop their social networks and relationships, and get involved with different networks, communities and extra-curricular activities.

You can find the resources you want by exploring one of these approaches, or by searching for key words to identify the type of resource (for example, case study, research report, practical tool, learning material), or subject (for example, mental health, careers, accommodation).

Get involved

AMOSSHE will continue to add resources to the toolkit from across the UK and international student support sectors – you can subscribe to get an update every time we add something new. As the number of resources increases, areas of professional expertise will develop too (for example, resilience in careers, building resilience in accommodation).

Do you have a practical tool, research, or a case study to contribute? If so, please get in touch on by clicking Contribute at the top of the toolkit. And please leave your comments, and share what you find with colleagues across the sector.

Find out more about the toolkit, check out the resources, and contribute to the project, here: resiliencetoolkit.org.uk.

Online toolkit for staff to support student mental health

AMOSSHE InsightIn 2016/17 AMOSSHE supported a project undertaken by the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) to develop digital tools for staff to help support students’ mental health. This was part of the AMOSSHE Insight project funding programme.

The UHI project is now complete, and its main outcome is an online toolkit for all higher education staff to help them identify and support students who may be experiencing mental health challenges. The toolkit includes resources aimed at staff who teach and/or work with distance learning students, whose interactions chiefly occur online. The UHI project team has also written a report about how they developed the toolkit, its research background, and recommendations for the sector.

Each year AMOSSHE commissions a range of small projects from member organisations as part of AMOSSHE Insight. AMOSSHE is committed to a research agenda led by our members’ priorities, to support professional development and broaden the evidence base for Student Services in the UK. AMOSSHE supports members’ project work in order to share innovative research, expertise and best practice across the Student Services sector, and enable continuing development and improvement. This is the purpose and goal of AMOSSHE Insight: to develop and share insights for the benefit of all members.

Find out more about the UHI project and access the resources here: AMOSSHE Insight: digital tools to support students’ mental health.

Community action

Bulletin-autumn-2017-coverIf you’re a professional dedicated to student success in higher education, you can benefit from the network and resources of the AMOSSHE community. AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation has developed new membership categories to reflect changes in the evolving UK higher education sector. These categories enable more people to join us and contribute to student success through Student Services.

In our autumn bulletin find out about these new opportunities to join AMOSSHE, and also our plans for the year, which include developing a student resilience toolkit, project funding, continuing professional development events, and more.

Read the bulletin online here: Autumn bulletin 2017.