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Student perceptions of a healthy university

Student perceptions of a healthy university

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Original Research

Student perceptions of a healthy university M. Holt a,*, R. Monk b, S. Powell c, M. Dooris d a

The Centre for Public Health, Centre for Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (CIKE), Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, M15 6GX, UK b Healthy Universities Research Assistant, The Centre for Public Health, CIKE, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, M15 6GX, UK c Centre for Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (CIKE), Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, M15 6GX, UK d School of Health University of Central Lancashire Preston, PR1 2HE, UK

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Article history:

As complex environments within which individuals and populations operate, universities

Received 30 September 2014

present important contexts for understanding and addressing health issues. The healthy

Received in revised form

university is an example of the settings approach, which adopts a whole system perspective,

25 February 2015

aiming to make places within which people, learn, live, work and play supportive to health

Accepted 16 March 2015

and well-being. The UK Healthy Universities Network has formulated an online toolkit,

Available online 6 May 2015

which includes a Self-Review Tool, intended to enable universities to assess what actions they need to take to develop as a healthy university. This paper presents findings from


consultative research undertaken with students from universities in England, Scotland and

Healthy universities

Wales, which explored what they believe, represents a healthy university.

Settings for health and well-being

Methods: Student surveys and focus groups were used to collect data across eleven uni-

Student health and well-being

versities in England, Scotland and Wales. A priori themes were used to develop our own model for a healthy university, and for the thematic coding phase of analysis. Findings: A healthy university would promote student health and well-being in every aspect of its business from its facilities and environment through to its curriculum. Access to reasonably priced healthy food and exercise facilities were key features of a healthy university for students in this study. The Self-Review Tool has provided a crucial start for universities undertaking the journey towards becoming a healthy university. In looking to the future both universities and the UK Healthy Universities Network will now need to look at what students want from their whole university experience, and consider how the SelfReview Tool can help universities embrace a more explicit conceptual framework. Conclusion: The concept of a healthy university that can tailor its facilities and supportive environments to the needs of its students will go some way to developing students who are active global citizens and who are more likely to value and prioritise health and well-being, in the short and long term through to their adult lives. Crown Copyright © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of The Royal Society for Public Health. All rights reserved.

* Corresponding author. E-mail addresses: [email protected] (M. Holt), [email protected] (R. Monk), [email protected] (S. Powell). 0033-3506/Crown Copyright © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of The Royal Society for Public Health. All rights reserved.

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Introduction Ecological models of health are inclusive health promotion frameworks that are multi-layered. They focus on the influence of environments, policies and other structural factors on health and well-being e both directly and through supporting individuals and populations to make informed health-related choices in their daily lives.1 This understanding that health is determined by the complex interplay between environmental conditions, organisational factors, cultural influences and personal behaviour is central to ecological thinking e a further common strand being an emphasis on how assets within human systems improve health and health outcomes.2 As complex environments within which individuals and populations go about their daily lives, universities present rich contexts for understanding and addressing health issues, using approaches informed by the ecological model of health. The healthy university represents an example of the settings approach, which takes an ecological, whole system perspective. It aims to make places within which people, learn, live, work and play supportive to health and well-being.3 Within the UK, there are 162 Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) with approximately 2.5 million students and more than 378,000 staff.4,5 In 2004, the UK Labour Government's Public Health Strategy highlighted the importance of the healthy universities approach, suggesting that this: Integrates health into the organisation’s structure to create healthy working, learning and living environments, increase the profile of health in teaching and research, and develop healthy alliances in the community.6 In 2010, the UK Coalition Government endorsed this approach, stating that: The Healthy Schools, Healthy Further Education and Healthy Universities programmes will continue to be developed by their respective sectors, as voluntary programmes7 A healthy university (HU) is one which aspires to create a learning environment and organisational culture that enhances the health, well-being and sustainability of its community and enables people to achieve their full potential.8 The healthy university approach also includes consideration of both higher education and public health drivers such as inequalities, alcohol and drug misuse, mental well-being, obesity, sexual health, sustainability, food and physical activity.4 In England, the first few healthy university initiatives were established in the mid-1990s and proved influential in the production of the WHO book Health Promoting Universities: Concept, Experience and Framework for Action.9 Twenty years on, there is global interest in Healthy Universities e with active networks in a number of countries and regions across the world. The UK is still widely understood to be at the forefront of the movement e and the UK Healthy Universities Network, initially established in 2006 as an English network, facilitates peer support and the sharing of information, experience and


good practice. Between 2009 and 2012, six HEIs from the Network led a collaborative research project entitled Developing Leadership and Governance for Healthy Universities.8 One of the key outputs of this research was an online Toolkit including a Self-Review Tool (http://www.healthyuniversities. which, when completed, describes where a HEI needs to focus its attention to develop as a healthy university. Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) used the SelfReview Tool to complete an instructional self-assessment with senior staff across all university departments and faculties. Whilst the results from the exercise were encouraging, it was recognised that the success of an HU lies in a whole university approach. It was felt therefore, that the Self-Review Tool, and its guiding themes, were useful for those at senior staff level, but that the student voice was not sufficiently captured. In order to achieve a meaningful self-assessment, MMU decided to consult further with students to establish the student perceptions of what constitutes a healthy university.

Aims of the study This consultative research study aimed to explore and develop an understanding of student perceptions of a healthy university, with a view to using findings to inform the future development of the UK Healthy Universities Network and to support MMU and other HEIs in their healthy university journeys.

Methods Sampling and data collection An expression of interest to participate in the research was circulated, via the UK Healthy Universities Network, to healthy university co-ordinators and relevant staff in Student Services departments and Students' Unions in England, Scotland and Wales. Eleven universities participated in the study (England n ¼ 7, Scotland n ¼ 2 and Wales n ¼ 2). The HEIs participating were of varying size and geographical spread. Through a single-question on-site opportunistic student survey (n ¼ 367) and six student focus groups (n ¼ 56), data were gathered from 423 students studying on a variety of programmes (e.g. Business and Law, Science and Engineering, Education, Health, Psychology and Social Care, Arts, Apparel, Food and Tourism, Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences) and covering a range of ages and years of study. The eleven universities were invited to participate in these two methods of data collection. The paper-based survey, asking students to complete in writing the sentence ‘a healthy university is one which … ’, was sent to healthy university coordinators (or equivalent) in all participating universities. They then took responsibility for distributing and collecting the survey (generally through student services or in refectories) and completed surveys were returned to the research team for analysis. The student responses to the survey subsequently informed the focus group research, with


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key issues being used as prompts to explore in depth students' perceptions. Healthy university co-ordinators recruited students to focus groups and the research team then conducted one at each participating university. Students were asked to bring along a visual object that, for them, represented a healthy university. This object acted as an icebreaker and stimulated discussion. The pairing of narrative and visual tools is becoming a recognised method for assisting the researcher in documenting and symbolizing the self-representations of participants;10 i.e. every picture tells a story. Semi-structured questions were used as focus group prompts as follows:  Please could you tell me about the object you have brought along to the focus group?;  Why does the object you have brought in represent a healthy university to you?;  What do you notice immediately when you walk into a university?;  What do you think a healthy university is?.

Analysis The benefit of research that combines deductive and inductive perspectives is widely acknowledged.11 In this study, the research was informed by healthy settings theory e with its emphasis on an ecological model of health, systems thinking, a salutogenic orientation, the interplay of agency and structure, and organisation development.12 A set of a priori key themes, which arise from, previously agreed definitions, literature and constructs13 were used to develop a model for a healthy university (Fig. 1). These derived from the ‘Healthy Universities Concept, Model and Framework’ report14 and the Self-Review Tool. Using this set of themes, both survey and focus group responses were coded thematically. This enabled further sub-themes to be generated, refined and articulated using a form of thematic networks, or web-like illustrations (Fig. 2).13

A wide range of healthy meals. Fruit available to buy or be free. Not loads of chocolate and cakes. Nutritional information for meals on food and food stands so we know what we are choosing (Mathematics PGCE student). Those students who participated in focus groups brought along objects such as a piece of fruit to illustrate the need for more fruit options in their university: Free apples in class would be neat too (English Literature student). Others brought photos of campus shops or refectories to illustrate examples of healthy or unhealthy options in relation to food choices. Students believed that there should be a responsibility to highlight those foods, which are considered healthy, and those, which are not e and that a healthy university: Should focus on food that would be considered as part of a healthy lifestyle, but with caution displayed for foods that are less healthy (Art and Design PGCE student). Provides enough healthy options e.g. GM coffee stands only sell chocolates and crisps whereas a fruitier option would be great (History student). Students discussed the cost of university food, in particular the lower cost of unhealthy foods, such as sweets and chocolate, compared to the cost of healthy foods such as fruit: The cheaper food options are mainly the unhealthy ones. The chocolate is always cheaper than the fruit (History Student).

Facilities & Services

Findings Findings from the research are presented below using the a priori key themes and networks of sub-themes with unedited data fragments as illustrators.



Facilities and services Food and water stations Access to a variety of healthy, reasonably priced food was a predominant feature for students across all universities. Students believed that a healthy university needs to have: A wide selection of healthy food and drinks that suit everyone’s needs, such as low fat, salt, gluten and wheat free, wider selection of vegetarian foods other than sandwiches and salad. All at affordable student prices (Nutrition student).

The Environment

Health & Wellbeing Issues & Behaviours

Relationship with the community

The Curriculum & Personal Development

Fig. 1 e The healthy university model.

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Fig. 2 e Thematic networks.

A chocolate bar costs 50p and a banana is 70p in our refectory. It’s about the physical price of things as well (Speech Therapy student). A number of students in the focus groups brought bottles of water to highlight what they considered to be an important feature of a healthy university. The key point was the need for free water stations alongside that of healthy food options. Some of the universities did not provide these and in others, this was limited. Bottled water was seen as an unreasonable and expensive food item for students to buy because of their limited budgets. Many students felt that if universities responded to these issues, then they would be more likely to purchase food on campus: Currently most students eat out but it would be cheaper and more convenient if good and healthy food was available here (Law Student). Students recognised that they often ate unhealthy foods when stressed. They highlighted the need for healthy food to support staying healthy during examination and assessment times. They believed that if healthy foods were more readily available and this was supported by encouraging health messages from the university, then they were more likely to eat healthily during times of stress.

On-site gym The provision of an on-site gym or reduced price student gym membership was considered an important feature of a healthy university. Students discussed this in terms of raising the profile of exercise as a means of supporting student health: Make exercise a concern/priority of student health (Business Management student). Give the students opportunities to be involved in exercising including affordable gym membership, sports societies and clubs (Textiles Student). Free fitness classes/sports sessions e use some of the £9000 fees we now pay (Secondary PGCE student). Access to a gym was also considered by many students to be a significant means of developing relationships and social networking. Students who participated in a focus group brought pictures of groups of students socialising through activities such Zumba and yoga classes. Students who were not necessarily considered ‘sporty’ would join the gym or other types of sports/recreational clubs as a means of meeting other students and making friends. This was particularly


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important to those students who were living away from home for the first time: A healthy university is one which has a number of clubs, which people can go and do sport, and keep fit (History student). It needs to have different ways of exercising and different activities where to meet new people and socialise (Youth and Community Student). It provides all students with opportunities to take part in recreational activities and sports, catering for all abilities and providing equal opportunities (Chemistry student).

[A healthy university would] introduce events whereby students from different faculty share ideas and get to know each other (Youth and Community Development). [It] Would provide good choice of clubs and societies for students to take part in, to help them feel more involved with the university (Psychology student). [It] Would encourage active participation within the university social experience, whether it be with sports teams, societies or social groups (Social Science student).

Policies Bike shelters and car parking Equality and diversity Students also brought pictures of bike shelters, which they considered a healthy university, should provide in order to promote both exercise and security: I think there should be a more secure lock up for bicycles as well, because that is one thing that deters me from cycling here. I think if you want to promote cycling (which is obviously healthy) then there should be provisions made (Psychology student). Car parking was not considered an important feature of a healthy university, as this was seen as encouraging an unhealthy lifestyle and an unnecessary expense.

Access to health services The need for convenient and efficient access to health services was considered an important characteristic of a healthy university. Students believed that these should be appropriate to student needs and should be on campus, or very close by: [A healthy university] ensures its students are provided with all basic health-related treatments and medicines when required. Also, it is important to provide an efficient service to students. One where needs and requirements of students are prioritised based on the illness or treatment needed. If treatments are unavailable on campus, a secondary service should be provided (History student).

Students discussed healthy university policies predominantly in terms of healthy food options (linking to Facilities), or the university needing to be a safe place to study and live (linking to Environment). Others believe a healthy university would meet all the regulations for inclusion, recognising the diversity of its student population: A healthy university should respect all individual needs and welcome varied cultures, religions and socio-economic backgrounds. All students should be treated equally, giving everybody the same opportunities (Chemical Engineering). A healthy university should be one which consults with its students, communicates effectively and, where necessary adapts to change: [It] responds to criticism, adapts to individual needs and leads the way constructing and implementing the latest government strategies (Medical Genetics student).

Health policy These government strategies related to both education and health strategies and students suggested that a healthy university:

Others would like to see the provision of nurse led clinics run on a regular basis as a drop in type approach:

Ensures health underpins all its policy and activities (Nursing student).

[A healthy university] facilitates monthly nurse check-ups for any possibilities of health issues or discussion of health (Law student).

Doesn't outright go against the conventions of the day (smoking etc) but instead aims to educate (History student).

Access to other groups, clubs and services A healthy university would provide opportunities or events for students to interact between the different faculties and groups across the university. Students discussed this in terms of enabling students to feel part of the wider university and embrace the whole university experience:

A healthy university would ensure that its policies encouraged and provided incentives for students to be healthy. These incentives were understood to include the provision of healthy food options and free drinking water, as previously highlighted. A balance between the core educational focus and the health and well-being of students was emphasised: A Healthy university is willing to share its financial wealth in order to establish that students are experiencing their peak

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spiritual, emotional, and physical health (Diagnostic Imagery student). Many students discussed the need to ensure that university policy ensured the most upeto-date equipment was provided for student academic studies. It was felt that this was an expectation particularly with the increases in course fees.

The environment University ethos The environment as a key theme of a healthy university was characterised by students in terms of the overall ethos of a university. Students discussed the feeling or general atmosphere that a healthy university would have at the onset: [It] has a warm and friendly atmosphere so students want to attend, teachers who are there to support their students when possible and one where students and teachers are respected and feel comfortable being around each other (Fashion student). These first impressions were important in helping students choose their university, and key to this was the way in which university staff, in particular tutors, present themselves as being calm, friendly and supportive. It was suggested that a healthy university: Has a warm, welcoming and friendly environment with all staff being approachable and willing to help (Engineering student). Alongside this, one language student suggested that a healthy university is one that: Gets people smiling.

Cleanliness and safety According to the students in this study, a healthy university is one which is clean, comfortable and safe. This was extended to both university buildings and student residential areas: A healthy university would also ensure that hygiene and cleanliness is a priority to ensure it is a safe place to work, live and study (Social Science student).

Nature, sustainability and green issues The location of the campus buildings and green issues were discussed in terms of lighting within buildings. University buildings should be well lit and have natural daylight to promote a sense of well-being: We are very fortunate to be next to a park and just that sense of greenness and sky just makes it feels a healthier place to be (Engineering student).


A healthy university would effectively prepare students as global citizens who consider the importance of issues such as recycling, and the need to live and work in harmony with each other: Has pride in the environmental factors that affect the world and encourage us to use bins and has no smoking areas all over campus (Theatre student). It also takes into account social, financial, mental, religious, ethical, and moral factors of individuals into account to create a harmonious environment (Sport Science student). A healthy university will provide an environment for these behaviours to be easily carried out (Law student).

Health and well-being issues and behaviours Promoting physical and mental health and well-being A healthy university would promote and encourage positive physical health, mental health and well-being: Takes care of the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the individual so that they can achieve the best their ability can allow (Medical Genetics student). Physical health was discussed largely in terms of ability to eat healthily and to exercise. Some students referred to and discussed mental health in terms of managing stress, particularly when undertaking exams and assignment writing: [A healthy university is] one that promotes classes on handling stress and anxiety especially during exam time (Psychology student). Others discussed issues that would enhance their mental well-being, such as safety and support with matters outside of the curriculum: Not just academic support but emotional and financially too. University is a step between home life and the big outside world, students still need help and advice. somewhere to turn to and feel safe (Education Studies student). As reported under ‘The Environment’ and ‘The Curriculum and Personal Development’ themes, the availability of supportive tutors to help manage this was seen as important in facilitating good mental health and well-being: [A healthy university would have] time set for access to staff (in their uni days) to help stop stresses and reduce depression and mental health issues (Youth and Community Development student). Students discussed the need for health promotion activities and interventions that regularly:


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Inform me of how I can live healthy every day and help me when I feel like I need help. Especially when stressed, depressed or burned out (Business Management student).

[A healthy university] has a student interest deep at heart and strives to give the students the best education possible with the greatest chance of employment once finished (Physics student).

Students believe that a healthy university would have health promotion as a fundamental feature of its business and that simply providing resources and facilities is, on its own, not enough:

Students believed that a healthy university would promote health through its curriculum with tutors facilitating healthy messages through the curriculum. Many students felt that this was the best way to ensure that students know what services and activities were available to them:

It is not just enough to have the facilities in place. Care must be taken to ensure that people are aware of these facilities and they must be encouraged and guided in order to use them (Business Management student).

Lecturers need to promote health in lectures and encourage students to be healthy. They are not there just to teach the subject (Pharmaceutical student).

Student consultation

Students highlighted that a healthy university would provide a value-for-money curriculum resulting in a healthy allround person, who is able to take their place in society.

Students suggested that a healthy university should reflect its commitment to well-being through inclusive processes. Specifically, it was felt that it would consult with students about what makes them healthy and what they need to succeed:

Relationship with the community

Allowing the opportunities for individuals to define what makes them feel healthy through activities of all types helps to create an environment to theoretically prosper (History student).

The curriculum and personal development Supportive lecturers A healthy university would have outstanding lecturers, who were able to support students with both academic and personal development through the curriculum: It would offer a whole package from academia to personal (Psychology student). [A healthy university would] listen to students about their dayto-day life and wellbeing. The problems they have with settling down to university life, being there for them to offer advice, not to judge (Culture Studies student). The ability to allow staff the time and resources to support students was considered crucial to the achievement and success of students in their academic work and progression to future employment: [A healthy university] has a high amount of contact hours without jeopardizing the teaching staffs’ ability or mental stability (Marketing student).

External clubs and social interaction This tended to be discussed in terms of providing students with access to external clubs and groups to facilitate their own social interaction as previously discussed. However, some students did discuss the need to have opportunities for extracurricular activities to, develop additional skills in becoming involved in external community groups and volunteering: [A healthy university] has lots of different services that help students get involved in the community and volunteering (Youth and Community Development student). A healthy university for some students would have an ethos and philosophy of community engagement: I think you feel more pride coming to a university that plays a big role in the community (Food Science student). [A healthy university is] one which actively engages in coexisting and supporting wildlife and the local community (Environmental Management student). Some students felt that a healthy university should be a community of its own, developing its own characteristics and ethos: It would feel like a community as opposed to a cold organisation (Law student).

Research A well planned curriculum The need for a curriculum that considered the all-round needs of the student from its content to its career support was important to the students in this study:

Research was not identified as a specific characteristic of a healthy university for students in this study. It tended to be classified as having excellent and knowledgeable lecturers and a contemporary curriculum. Undergraduate students did not feel that the research profile of the university would

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influence their choice of university. These students tended to look at issues discussed thus far in this paper such as facilities and tutor support.

Discussion Encouraging universities to become healthier settings is gaining impetus at national and regional levels. The ideology of a healthy university aligns with higher education priorities such as student experience. It also offers a mechanism to engage with and support a number of major UK Government agendas such as obesity and sustainability.15, 16 The aim of this exploratory study was to investigate what students, across several different universities in the UK, believe represents a healthy university. It is acknowledged that data drawn from this qualitative study may not be generalised to the overall UK student population and that the research did not seek to be representative. By having a spread of participants from eleven diverse universities across the UK, which included male and female students of a range of ages, from different disciplines and at different stages in their university career, it was hoped that the findings would be useful in informing the conceptual and practical development of healthy universities e and contribute insights to the UK Network (in particular in relation to the future development of the Self-Review Tool)8 and to other HEIs in their healthy university journeys. The focus of other national projects such as the former National Healthy School Programme,17 the Food for Life Partnership, transforming food cultures in schools and school programmes to increase student participation in physical activity,18 means that students come to university with a set of values that are important to them, their health and their academic performance. It is therefore not surprising that all the students were able to articulate their opinions about what the important features of a healthy university were for them. However, once entering university these features are sometimes overridden by other factors. For example, their choice of food and their ability to eat a healthy diet is influenced by financial pressures that students now face.19 The main issue for students in this study was not their ability to choose healthy foods, but the cost and availability of healthy foods on campus. This raises important issues for universities in meeting student need and expectations. For example, the availability of free water through water fountains is a multifaceted issue related to both health and sustainability20,21 and presents a dilemma for healthy universities as often water is sold by catering facilities and represents a significant source of revenue. Insight from the researcher was that sustainability, in reducing the number of plastic bottles and that of free water fountains was, in this study, more implicit in student responses than explicit. Within the undergraduate population specifically, providing information, which is directly relevant to their lifestyle, is effective.22 Healthy universities could target students by providing information on how to prepare healthier food quickly and cheaply. Some students find difficulties in continuing with exercise or sport when they go to university due to the absence of high quality sports provision offered by


universities.23 A healthy university would need to consider its responsibilities in adapting and providing sports facilities to promote active lifestyles for all students. It would need to take into account internal barriers that university student's face such as proximity and cost of sports facilities.24, 25 The physical and mental health needs of university students are complex and comprise a wide range of aspects.26, 27 Despite raised health awareness amongst university students, their use of health services is reported as relatively low across the university sector in the UK.28 Therefore, a healthy university can benefit by undertaking a health needs assessment so that the specific health and well-being needs of their own student population are understood and responded to appropriately.29 Furthermore, a supportive curriculum that, through its content, promotes student health and well-being and prioritises the development of students as global citizens would be an additional means of addressing these issues. As highlighted above, healthy universities are informed by an ecological model, understanding health to result from the complex interrelations between environmental, organisational and personal factors, and offer supportive contexts for students undergoing ‘a life transition e exploring, experimenting and developing independence and life skills’.30 In this study, however, whilst students highlighted influences relating to individual lifestyle, the wider environment and the university as an organisation, they did not explicitly demonstrate an understanding of, or discuss the interplay between them. Adjusting to life at university includes factors such as finding and managing living accommodation, and managing workloads, examinations and other academic-related pressures.31 Whilst formal student support services are evidently key to helping students with these issues,31 participants did not discuss a healthy university in these terms, instead highlighting the UK Student Health Group the role of academic related tutor and pastoral support. Whilst this paper has raised some important issues for those universities wishing to become a healthy university, it is also important to look at the implications for future work for the UK Healthy Universities Network.8 One of the difficulties is that whilst the settings approach in general and Healthy Universities in particular, have been subject to a degree of conceptual development, they lack an explicit theoretical framework to guide policy, practice and research.12 In this context, the Self-Review Tool8 has provided a crucial start for universities undertaking the journey towards becoming a healthy university. In looking to the future, both universities and the UK Healthy Universities Network will now need to look at what students want from their whole university experience, and consider what the Self-Review Tool can do to guide the process and to support the development of a more explicit conceptual framework.

Conclusion When HEIs complete the Self-Review Tool, they receive a ‘traffic light’ report highlighting areas that require attention for them to progress on their healthy university journey. When engaging with the Self-Review Tool, staff at MMU felt


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that the student voice required strengthening e and so decided to undertake this research. The study explored and sought to develop an understanding of student perceptions of a healthy university, using an a priori thematic model to identify the issues of most importance to students. Sub-themes generated through data collection and analysis included food and water stations; equality and diversity; on-site gyms; proactively promoting health; access to health services; overall university ethos; external clubs and social interaction; and several aspects of the environment and curriculum development. Research was not identified as a freestanding theme of importance. For HEIs, the concept of a healthy university that can tailor its facilities, services, environment and overall ‘offer’ to the needs and expectations of its students will not only support its own institutional objectives relating to an enhanced student experience, but will also contribute to the development of students who are active global citizens e able to value and prioritise their own health, the health of others and wider societal and planetary well-being, both in the short term and in their future lives and roles within families, workplaces and communities. For umbrella bodies seeking to support and facilitate the healthy universities approach, the research findings suggest that it is important and valuable to find ways to engage with, listen to and respond to the student voice. For the UK Healthy Universities Network specifically, it may be valuable to revisit the Self-Review Tool and consider whether its content and/or process of implementation could benefit from refining to ensure that student perspectives and views are fully incorporated.

Author statements Ethical approval The Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care Ethics Committee at MMU granted ethical approval for the research.

Funding None declared.

Competing interests None declared.


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