Academic coordinator Danielle Remmerswaal has been sad to observe a marked decline in the mental health of a large group of students over the past few years. “Students don’t always know where to turn at first.”

Animated short

Remmerswaal welcomed the opportunity to develop a new animated video in collaboration the EUR Student Wellbeing programme, which she now aims to promote among students on a structural basis. The video is designed to help students find counselling services and discuss their personal situation. For example, it refers viewers in need of a listening ear and guidance to the online student wellbeing platform, study advisors, campus psychologists and support workshops.

The student wellbeing programme has discussed the video with all faculties. ‘We want to make sure students get to see the video several times a year. For example, the video could be shown during lectures at the start of the academic year, during Student Wellbeing Week in November and at the start of the second semester in February. Students don’t always know where to turn to when they run into problems. The video also aims to reassure students that it is perfectly normal to seek help and work on your personal development.’

Manifesto

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Rector Annelien Bredenoord signed the manifesto at the Opening of the Academic Year.

The animation was screened for the first time in the Senate Hall on Monday, following the Opening of the Academic Year. The occasion also marked the official presentation of the new manifesto. As the manifesto emphasised, a successful university experience is about students’ personal development and well-being as well as their academic success. The manifesto also underlines the need to promote the idea of seeking help from institutions and fellow students. Lecturers should actively encourage students to make use of the university’ s various resources.

The manifesto was signed by Rector Annelien Bredenoord and the programme directors of all faculties. Bredenoord sees the manifesto as a powerful testimony to the EUR’s commitment to student welfare. “A focus on wellbeing and personal leadership is very much part of our Erasmian values. After all, studying isn’t just about earning a diploma. We’ve been pushing this issue for a long time and aim to keep doing so, so it’s great to see that commitment in writing with the broad support of the academic community.”

The manifesto is important, as Remmerswaal explains: “All the faculties have now committed to a shared vision and approach to student wellbeing.” Programme staff have since signed the manifesto on the internal MyEur platform, and are asking students and colleagues to co-sign in support of the project. “We want to find out whether the issue is really resonating on campus.”

Wellbeing on campus

The manifesto is part of a broader programme. For example, a Student Wellbeing Week was launched last year and a living room for students is now open every working day. The living room is currently located in a white tent on Erasmus Plaza, but will relocate to the new building next to Polak this autumn.

Samir Abdullayev ice bath wellbeing week – Adriana Youssef

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