Productivity Commission calls on unis to act on students mental health

University admin processes can impact the mental health of students. The Productivity Commission wants providers to be aware of what they are doing+

The PC’s  final report on Australians’ mental health is out, with a chapter on post-secondary students, particularly internationals.

The Commission recommends;

* universities expanding services to “meet student needs”

* “incorporate de-identified data collection on the mental health of students to enable ongoing improvements in the effectiveness and relevance of mental health support services”

* providers ensure “adequate coverage” of health insurance for international students. “They should also ensure their counselling services are able to meet the language and cultural diversity needs of their international students.”

* the Federal Government should, “require all tertiary education institutions to have a student mental health and wellbeing strategy that includes, but is not limited to, staff training”

* The higher education and VET regulators should provide institutions with best practise advice.

As to what support will require, notably for international students, the PC makes its view clear, “tertiary education institutions that choose to accept international students need to provide services to students that meet their various and diverse needs.”

+ The PC’s example was a university releasing semester results on a Friday afternoon, when counselling services were about to close.