The Digital Student Summit: What Students Need
On Thursday February 8, StuComm held their second Digital Student Summit, this time at the Dutch Embassy in London. The event was centred around student support, with a focus on mental health. We were delighted to introduce a range of speakers from the UK. The afternoon was a huge success, as seen by the high energy, engagement and probing questions throughout from our audience, as our speakers put forward a number of key take homes. Many thanks again to our speakers and attendees for creating a thoroughly inspiring and informative afternoon.
Improving student support
Brad Vanstone began The Digital Student Summit by outlining how technology is able to play an increasingly proactive and effective role in providing student support. He shared how StuComm provides greater personalisation for its users, improves engagement, and makes student support more accessible to universities. Brad finished by outlining StuComm’s 5 point plan to proactively deal with mental health on campus which includes: centralising dynamic content, notification scheduling, and triggers based off low attendance and low academic results.
Download the presentation of Brad Vanstone here
The positive and mindful university
Our key-note speaker was Sir Anthony Seldon, who is a political historian and commentator on British political leadership as well as on education and contemporary Britain. He is also Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham. Anthony shared his 10 point plan for the ‘’The positive and mindful university’’. He thinks universities should be more conscious and provide better holistic support. ‘’We need to teach students how to be more confident and how to take care of each other’’.
Sir Anthony described the focal points of the plan in detail stressing the need for all educational institutions to place greater emphasis on caring for their students well-being. He believes the biggest challenges in actioning his plan stem from a culture change at the top, and technologies that take value from, rather than adding value to, our lives.
Download the white paper of Sir Anthony Seldon here
Mental health league table
Our second speaker was recent Edinburgh University graduate, Robin Brinkworth, who won the VMG Mind award for Student Journalist for his work on the first ever ranking of UK university mental health services. He explained the factors behind his Mental Health League Table which is about mental health among UK students.
The table was not created to highlight failings, but to pin-point successful approaches that other universities can adopt. It is commonly known that universities in general deliver high quality education but they could invest more in student support to tackle the amount of students with mental health issues. He suggested that an independent body or university lead group is needed to provide greater accountability in this area going forward.
Download the presentation of Robin Brinkworth here
Discussion Panel on Student’s Needs
Watch the video of the panel discussions here
The final part of the afternoon were the panel discussions with questions such as how universities provide support for online students, examples of effective digital solutions on campus, how much responsibility lies with universities and how much with the individual. Fantastic insight into the topics were provided by Cat Heaton (Queen Mary), Steve Tucker (Aberdeen), Ellie Harding (Phd student and The Nightline Association), Hugo Horsfall, (Happy Space) and Diego Fanara (UniBuddy).
A huge thanks to the Dutch Embassy in London for hosting our event, to our fantastic speakers and panel for putting forward their ideas, and to our audience for their engagement.
Want to know more?
Want to know more about the Digital Student Summit – What Students Need? Please feel free to contact Brad Vanstone for more information.