During the COVID-19 pandemic, students in higher education experienced mental health issues whereby National Unions Students & local unions, Higher Education Institutions, and governments played a role in addressing them.
Mental health and wellbeing among students have been analysed by external actors as the topic has been talked about already prior to the start of the pandemic. However, previous research indicates that students’ mental wellbeing is not a concern on the local or national level. Neither has it been documented on a European level looking into its priority among actors in higher education.
The authors of this survey used the survey from 2020 to have quantitative data, and a follow-up survey in 2021 for qualitative data in order to carry out a comparative analysis of the mental health of higher education students during COVID-19 through the perspective of the National Unions of Students on the local, national and institutional level.
As expected, during the pandemic, the analysis has shown that students’ mental wellbeing has increased in priority (or remained as a priority) on a local, national and institutional level in most countries. However, the subject is now on the agenda or a bigger priority of higher education institutions with mainly Northern and Western European countries taking initiatives to break the stigma on mental health.
This research report provides National Unions of Students and other stakeholders a broad look into the state of actions taken by the governments and other institutions concerning mental health. Stakeholders are able to see what is being done by national and local unions through a list of great initiatives, and a list with all national research on students’ mental health that has been available during the conduction of the survey.