April 22, 2021

Community & Residence Wellbeing 2021

April 22, 2021


This module provided clear definitions for ‘community’, ‘sense of belonging’, and ‘student wellbeing’ and the pillars upon which these can be created and cultivated. The Residence Life approach continues to evolve from the warden/collegiate model to current university & PBSA models which reflect their respective institutional and financial strategic provider values. During the module, we examined the strengths and weaknesses of our current model, the ambition for the next three to five years, and how to succeed. Including where to begin, the staff required, and the training necessary to ensure confidence, boundaries, and guidelines for enhancing student wellbeing.

Key learnings

During the group session, we identified 10 steps to fostering a sense of community in student residences. This guide includes five short-term and five long-term initiatives organisations can set-up when creating a community and residence wellbeing programme, to summarise they are:

Short-term initiatives

  1. Listen to and involve your residents
  2. Identify quick wins and easy to organise events
  3. Launch hobby-based support groups
  4. (Re)evaluate your spatial design
  5. Organise anything food related

Long term initiatives

  1. Invest in student staff
  2. Create a programme/brand identity
  3. Identify collaboration opportunities and partnerships
  4. Analyse success and train for further improvement
  5. Plan now and reap the rewards

Course offering / benefits


Paula Dalziel

Head of Student Support, Wellbeing and Inclusion

Staffordshire University

She leads a department supporting student mental health, student inclusion, student support and experience, and chaplaincy. 

Rebecca O'Hare

Assistant Director, Residence Life & Accommodation

University of Leeds

She co-founded and co-hosts the Student Affairs podcast ‘Free Food, Free Drinks’ and was awarded the CUBO Residence Life professional award.

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