"On the radar": supporting the mental wellbeing of mature-aged students in regional and remote Australia

Regional universities Rural and remote communities Student welfare Students Australia

University students’ mental wellbeing is increasingly 'on the radar' of universities in Australia and internationally. In this climate, this one-year 2019/20 NCSEHE Equity Fellowship research investigated university students’ perspectives on mental wellbeing and their insights into proactive approaches that they found supportive during their university studies. In particular, the research focused on mature-aged students who live in, or come from, regional and remote areas in Australia.

Regional and remote students are in the national spotlight as attested by recent national reports. However, the focus of improving access and participation in higher education has been on school leavers. Mature-aged students are largely missing from the discussion, yet they make up a sizeable proportion of the regional and remote cohort. In focusing on the mature-aged sub-group within the regional and remote cohort, this project responded to calls for deeper understanding of the diversity and complexity of equity group cohorts, as well as the need to understand more about how universities can proactively support students’ mental wellbeing.

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2019/20 NCSEHE Equity Fellowship Final Report