Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Volume

19

Issue

11

PubMed ID

35682494

Publisher

MDPI

School

School of Business and Law

Comments

Donald, W. E., & Jackson, D. (2022). Subjective wellbeing among university students and recent graduates: Evidence from the United Kingdom. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(11). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116911

Abstract

This study compares students’ and recent graduates’ perceptions of their subjective wellbeing and offers support mechanisms and resources to enhance wellbeing in higher education. Survey data were collected in September 2021 from 414 UK-based higher education students and recent graduates on their self-perceived subjective wellbeing in March 2020 (before COVID-19 regulations restrictions) and September 2021 (18 months later). Findings showed that subjective wellbeing scores fell for almost three-quarters of university students and recent graduates between March 2020 and September 2021. Interestingly, around one-fifth of participants reported increased subjective wellbeing scores whilst the remaining participants reported no impact. Positive impacts of the pandemic included opportunities for self-improvement with more free time for focusing on health and relationships. Adverse outcomes included feelings of isolation, reduced mental and physical health, difficulties undertaking degree studies and work, travel restrictions, and concerns for labour market competitiveness. The study advances the application of the conservation of resources theory and identifies strategies for higher education institutions to better support and improve their students’ and future graduates’ subjective wellbeing. Strategies include access to counselling, mindfulness, opportunities for participation in hobbies, interaction with peers, flexible work and study options, and guidance on career and finances.

DOI

10.3390/ijerph19116911

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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