In December 2013 the AMOSSHE National Office team visited Cardiff University. Ben Lewis, Chair of AMOSSHE, is Director, Student Support & Wellbeing Division at Cardiff. Find out more about Cardiff University.
The university, which is part of the Russell Group, has around 30,000 students, and the Student Support & Wellbeing Division covers a range of services, including counselling, international student support, disability and dyslexia support, an advice service, chaplaincy, and mental health support.
The university careers service is also due to become part of the division’s remit. Employability is in high demand at Cardiff.
In 2013 the division successfully developed a partnership with the local health board, and now an NHS psychiatric nurse works with the counselling service three days a week, seeing some of the complex cases as a clinical session in a more informal setting.
Also in the last year, Ben and his team set up a successful academic development and skills centre, which provides a studies skills service and trains peer mentors for students.
A big hit for freshers in 2013 was a cartoon introducing student services, narrated by Stephen Fry, and also the student high street, a board game to help students find the help and resources they need, which the university provided in the kitchens of first year residences.
Here’s Ben’s top tip for student services departments at other organisations: “Get the ear of your registrar or equivalent by making sure all your strategies are explicitly linked to the university’s priorities and key performance indicators (for example NSS scores).”
Thank you very much to Ben and his team for making us very welcome at Cardiff University!