October 11, 2018

Residence Life 2018

October 11, 2018
University College, Utrecht


Students today face a demanding academic environment in a time of rapidly changing circumstances and an increasingly competitive and technologically integrated world. Impressive academic performances, a blossoming social life, managing a budget around tuition and living costs, and building a strong cv – these are all goals and concerns that students are dealing with and can lead to worrying health concerns. In an age of being constantly connected and exposed online through social media, a growing number of university students are reporting feelings of isolation and loneliness. These challenges appear to be magnified for international students as they deal with cultural and language barriers and transitional obstacles in an unknown academic environment. This interactive training offers practical tools and guidance to those that are working with and for students, in daily operations of student accommodation, but also managing international students at universities.

Key learnings

  • Mental health issues among students are not a trend or a fad. Growing pressure on study results and tuition from one’s social environment plus an increased fear of missing out personally, in addition to more knowledge, experience, and insights are pushing the current shift in attention and expression of mental health challenges amongst students.
  • Creating a culture of social embeddedness and openness is key to identifying mental health issues on time.
  • Sometimes it is important to take a step back and fulfill a facilitating role in order to encourage student self-agency, self-reliance, and resilience.
  • To identify mental health problems, it is important to sense signallers: absence, not reachable by phone, not paying rent can help housing providers in addition to updates and concerns from parents and fellow students.
  • Those working with students on a day-to-day basis need to consider the cultural differences when it comes to the level and frequency of services and assistance offered. Self-reliance, resilience, and the need for independence varies across countries and student populations.
  • Accommodation providers are in a unique position to take proactive steps in creating a supportive environment where inclusion and interaction are made easy while encouraging independence and self-reliance.

Course offering / benefits

During this training, different experts shared their insights from different European perspectives. Following the best-practice panel discussion, participants were asked to reflect on the key learnings by taking part in an interactive assignment, which were evaluated after each break.


Christine Willems

Manager Living

SSH Student Housing

Karin van der Ven - Academy


Jules Group

Mark Baldwin

Dean of Student Affairs

University College Utrecht

Paula Dalziel

Residential Life Manager

Manchester Metropolitan University

Tom Martin

Residency Living Manager


Case study providers

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