Our research on student wellbeing in higher education aims to foster and sustain university students' wellbeing and academic achievement. Our research program examines:
- the prevalence of psychological distress and (positive) wellbeing among university student populations, and changes over time
- course-related factors and university experiences associated with student mental health and wellbeing
- the relationship between student wellbeing, course engagement and academic achievement
- students' perceptions of their wellbeing and experiences at university, and their suggestions for improvement
Research-informed resources for university educators
Our resources developed by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers aim to promote a whole-of-university approach to enhancing student wellbeing and to assist university educators and leaders to develop policies, curriculum and learning environments that promote and support student wellbeing and learning.
- A Framework for Promoting Student Mental Wellbeing in Universities
- Enhancing Student Mental Wellbeing: A Handbook for Academic Educators
- Enhancing Student Wellbeing website
- Baik, C., Larcombe, W., Wyn, J., Allen, L., Brett, M., Field, R., James, R., & Brooker, A. (2017). Stimulating curriculum and teaching innovations to support the mental wellbeing of university students. Australian Government Department of Education and Training. Report.
Our research has involved a series of mixed-method studies including the Student Wellbeing and University Experience Survey (SWUES) conducted in four-year intervals (2013, 2017, 2021), and the Graduate Researcher Wellbeing and University Experience Survey (2018, 2022).
These studies examine the course-related factors associated with student mental health and wellbeing in coursework and graduate research programs. They aim to advance understanding among university staff of the mental health needs of students and graduate researchers to inform the design of strategies to better support student wellbeing and enhance their university experience.
Key research questions
- What course-related factors support or undermine student mental wellbeing in diverse educational programs?
- How can student mental wellbeing be enhanced and better supported by university staff and leaders?
- Baik, C., Larcombe, W., & Brooker, A. (2019). How universities can enhance student mental wellbeing: The student perspective. Higher Education Research & Development, 38.
- Larcombe, W., Baik, C., & Finch, S. (2021). Exploring course experiences that predict psychological distress and mental wellbeing in Australian undergraduate and graduate coursework students. Higher Education Research & Development, 41(2), 420-435.
- Marangell, S., & Baik, C. (2022). International students’ suggestions for what universities can do to better support their mental wellbeing. Journal of International Students, 12(4).
- Larcombe, W., Finch, S., Sore, R., Murray, C.M., Kentish, S., Mulder, R.A., Parshia Lee-Stecum, P., Baik, C., Tokatlidis, O., & Williams, D.A. (2016). Prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of psychological distress among students at an Australian university. Studies in Higher Education, 41(6), 1074-1091.
- Larcombe. W., Finch, S., & Sore, R. (2015). Who's distressed?: Not only law students: Psychological distress levels in university students across diverse fields of study. Sydney Law Review, 37(2), 243-273.
Graduate researcher wellbeing and university experiences
- Ryan, T., Baik, C., & Larcombe, W. (2021). How can universities better support the mental wellbeing of higher degree research students? A study of students’ suggestions. Higher Education Research & Development, 41(3), 867-881.
- Larcombe, W., Ryan, T., & Baik, C. (2021). What makes PhD researchers think seriously about discontinuing? an exploration of risk factors and risk profiles. Higher Education Research & Development.