Support during COVID-19
We recognise how unsettling the pandemic has been for our students - regardless of personal circumstances, or as a result of any disadvantage or disruption faced as a result of COVID-19.
The welfare and wellbeing of our students is of the utmost importance to us and in the 2019-20 academic year, the University launched a Mental Health Task Force to consider the immediate needs of students during the COVID-19 pandemic. With representation from across the University, colleges and Oxford SU, the Task Force sought to address the increased demand on welfare services, and how to reduce the impact of the pandemic on students' mental health. There is more information about support welfare and support on the University's COVID-19 response pages.
Student health is primarily handled within colleges: your college will have a recommended National Health Service (NHS) doctor and many also have a nurse on site. The University also offers advice on other local services like dentists, and recommended vaccinations.
Every college also has a welfare team, which provides support to students including signposting you to specialist services when necessary. You will normally be introduced to your college welfare team as part of your induction when you start your course.
There are a range of specialist services available to you during your time at Oxford.
These include the:
- Counselling Service
- Disability Advisory Service
- Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service
- Peer support
- Student Resolution Service
All specialist services are confidential and free to access.
More information about our specialist services can be found on the Welfare and Wellbeing page of the Oxford Students website.
What We Have Done So Far
- The University and colleges commit substantial resources towards supporting student wellbeing and mental health, spending £2.7m in 2018-19 on specialist central services alone
- Colleges offer regular contact hours and have welfare teams which include GPs, Nurses, Chaplains, other pastoral advisors, counsellors and student volunteers
- We have agreed policies on Student Mental Health, Confidentiality in Student Health and Welfare, and a Common Framework for Supporting Disabled Students
- We measure the efficacy of our Counselling Service, and collect feedback from students about all of our welfare services
- We have been expanding our welfare services to include specialised support for students of colour and LGBTQ students, through the Peers of Colour and Rainbow Peers schemes, plus increasing the diversity of our counselling team by appointing two Black counsellors in 2020.
What We Will Do In Future
Our Student Wellbeing and Mental Health Strategy outlines a range of commitments, including:
- We are adopting a holistic approach to student wellbeing and mental health, and will review course design, promote and embed inclusive practice, and help students to develop the life skills which will help them to thrive
- We will put student wellbeing and mental health on the agenda across the institution, ensuring it is taken into account when we review and create courses, or consider workload and assessment methods
- We will identify appropriate metrics to measure student wellbeing, in collaboration with academic colleagues and experts
- We will continue to work with Oxford SU and other groups to identify the needs of our diverse student body
- We will hold ourselves accountable by regular reviews of our agreed actions and by seeking feedback from students and staff