The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has come top of a national wellbeing league table.
UCLan has topped the table in the 2020 Student Welfare League Table, which analyses the amount of money higher education institutions put into their student wellbeing services.
During the 2018/19 academic year, the University’s total spend on student wellbeing services was £6.2 million, nearly £1 million more than the second placed institution.
Support available ranges from trained councillors and mental health advisors as well as more than £1 million in hardship loans and bursaries for students needing additional financial aid.
The team also manages several bursaries that are open to students, including student carers, care leavers and estranged students.
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As well as financial aid, the university also invests in a dedicated Welcome Team to ensure new starters have all the relevant support and information they need. A Pre-School Centre allows students with young children to attend lectures while child care is easily available.
The University also offers a free late-night bus to all students living in the vicinity of the Preston Campus while the Safety and Security Team are also available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Physical wellbeing plays an important role too and all students are entitled to free sports membership of the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre and UCLan Sports Arena.
Dr Andrew Ireland, UCLan’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students and Teaching), said: “We are absolutely delighted to be top of the 2020 Student Welfare League Table.
“At UCLan we take students’ health and wellbeing extremely seriously and seek to provide our students with support in the most meaningful ways possible.
“Our aim is to create an inspirational student experience, enabling people, irrespective of their backgrounds, to fulfil their potential. Investment in student support services plays a key role in this aspiration.
“Our dedication to student support can be seen through the creation of our £60 million student centre and civic square project.
“This thriving, open space, which is being built with sustainability, accessibility and student wellbeing in mind, will help every student by providing easy access to an extensive network of support services, and a modern environment to work and play.
“Alongside communal areas and a rooftop garden, the welcoming landmark will house the full breadth of UCLan’s vital student support services, from mental health provision and careers advice to course information and accommodation assistance.”
Read more: Watch as UCLan’s new Student Centre takes shape
The study was commissioned by Beeja Meditation and collated the data using Freedom of Information requests.
Will Williams, Founding Member of Beeja Meditation, said: “It’s really encouraging to see that so many universities are investing in the wellbeing of their staff and students.
“Naturally, the larger universities will have bigger spends as they will have bigger incomes, but it’s great that, as a whole, more is being done to ensure that the welfare needs of people in higher education are being adequately met.”
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What do you think of UCLan coming top of the league? Let us know in the comments.