Universities Minister Supports Launch of University Mental Health Charter

UPP Foundation awards £100k to Student Minds to establish Charter

A new University Mental Health Charter has today been launched by the Department for Education, setting out plans to drive up standards in promoting student and staff mental health across the UK.

The development of the Charter, which received endorsement from Universities Minister Sam Gyimah, is supported by a £100k grant awarded by the UPP Foundation, the registered Charity founded by University Partnerships Programme (UPP) – the UK’s leading provider of on-campus residential and academic infrastructure.

The Charity has awarded the grant to Student Minds, the UK’s student mental health charity, with the Charter set to recognise and reward institutions which make student and staff mental health a university-wide priority and deliver improved student mental health and wellbeing outcomes.

At the launch today, Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said: "We want mental health support for students to be a top priority for the leadership of all our universities. Progress can only be achieved with the support of the leadership of our autonomous universities – I expect them to get behind this important agenda as we otherwise risk failing an entire generation of students.

“Universities should see themselves as in ‘loco parentis’ – not infantilising students – but making sure support is available where required. It is not good enough to suggest that university is about the training of the mind and nothing else, as it is too easy for students to fall between the cracks and to feel unknown.

“This is not a problem that can be solved overnight, but we need to do a better job of supporting students than is happening at the moment.”

Richard Brabner, Director of the UPP Foundation, said: “With support for student wellbeing and mental health initiatives a key part of our campaign to improve access and retention in Higher Education, we are investing £100,000 to enable Student Minds to lead the creation of the Charter – which we expect to transform the student experience, lead to cultural change across universities and ensure the issue remains high on the national political agenda.”

Rosie Tressler, Chief Executive Officer of Student Minds, said: “As the Minister has recognised today, there is much work to be done to ensure that institutions make mental health a strategic priority, supporting the 1 in 4 students and staff experiencing mental ill health and the 4 in 4 with mental health, at universities across the UK.”

Student Minds will lead a partnership of organisations in the development of the Charter – including the UPP Foundation, Office for Students (OfS), National Union of Students (NUS) and Universities UK.


Notes to editors

The UPP Foundation is a registered charity that offers grants to universities, charities and other higher education bodies, to help tackle the biggest issues facing the higher education sector across the UK. The UPP Foundation was created in 2016 by University Partnerships Programme (UPP), the leading provider of on campus student accommodation infrastructure and support services in the UK. The UPP Foundation has put forward £100,000 to fund Student Minds, to lead on the development of the Charter.

Student Minds is the UK's student mental health charity. The charity empowers students and staff to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to look after their mental health, support others, and create change, so that all in higher education can thrive. Student Minds is working with over 120 universities across the UK to deliver a range of peer support groups, staff-run workshops equipping students to support friends, student-led campaign activities and the national University Mental Health Day. By working collaboratively across sectors, Student Minds share best practice and ensure that the student voice influences decisions about student mental health.