The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and the National Forum are partnering on an exciting research project that looks at the practice of embedding wellbeing in the curriculum in higher education in Ireland. The project will capture how wellbeing is currently being embedded in the curricula of higher education institutions nationally and internationally and identify features of good practice. The research will culminate in a report discussing the key insights gained from the study and exemplars of good practice identified.
Following a competitive tender process, a research team for the project have been appointed. Dr Jessica Surdey of Trinity College Dublin and Dr Deirdre Byrne of Athlone Institute of Technology recently completed work on the National Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Framework and have significant research experience in the area of wellbeing.
Welcoming the research, Kevin McStravock, USI Deputy President and Vice President for Academic Affairs, said: “This is a really important piece of work given the huge issues that students face in terms of their mental health throughout their studies. Previous USI research recommended embedding wellbeing into the curriculum as one means of supporting students with their mental health. This project will provide valuable insight into how students and staff can best work together to do this in a meaningful way.
“USI is delighted to be working on this project alongside the National Forum and we look forward to working closely with Dr Surdey, Dr Byrne and other stakeholders in the development of this research.”
The project is particularly timely as the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris T.D., recently announced a working group, chaired by the USI, to identify, refine and implement strategies to enhance student engagement and wellbeing.