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Conference | EUniWell Symposium

Good Practices on Student Well-Being

Date
Thursday 30 September 2021 - Friday 1 October 2021
Address
Online

It’s perfectly possible to join in for one day, but for the full student well-being experience we highly recommend joining us for both days. After you have registered, you’ll receive an email from noreply@groundcontrol.app to install the Ground Control app for the EUniWell Symposium. Please check your inbox.

Register now

There is increased awareness of the importance of student well-being, and this has become a priority during the pandemic. Well-being was therefore quite rightly the theme of our opening of the academic year

As part of EUniWell, the European University of Well-Being collaborative project, Leiden University and Semmelweis University are hosting an online symposium to share good practices on student well-being. Students, support staff and researchers will meet on an online platform to exchange knowledge on this important topic.

This knowledge exchange will enable the attendees to improve existing university programmes and create new ones. You will also have the opportunity to network and connect with people from seven different universities. Let’s come together and join forces to improve student well-being.

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Programme

Over two days, expert speakers will present their good practices and answer questions in panel discussions. These good practices will include courses, e-health modules, support services, research and much more. You can find the full programme below. It is possible to decide on the spot which panel discussion you would like to participate in. It is therefore not necessary to register in advance for a panel discussion.

30 September

13:45
Walk-in
14:00
Interview with Yuliya Mysyuk about EUniWell (program manager at Leiden University)
14:15
Panel sessions
15:30
Break / network carousel
15:40
Summary of panel sessions with moderators
16:00
Network opportunity
16:30
End of day 1

1 October

13:45
Walk-in
14:00
Panel sessions
15:15
Break / network carousel
15:30
Summary of panel sessions with moderators
16:00
Network opportunity
16:30
End of day 2

Platform

Before the symposium, you will be invited to install an interactive app on your phone so that you can receive information on the speakers, student well-being and EUniWell, prior to the event. The symposium itself can be viewed in a web browser. It will also be possible to stay in touch with other visitors after the event.

Organisation

The symposium is organised in collaboration with Semmelweis University. Read more about the organisation in this interview.

Contact information: symposiumstudentwellbeing@SEA.leidenuniv.nl

Speakers and moderators

Issues of cultural differences, values and death image among medical students 
Agnes Zana, Semmelweis University 
The Death, Culture, Medical Anthropology course sensitises students to understanding cultural differences and the causes behind these differences, and teaches them about the taboo of death in Western-type societies. The course also includes personal experience groups, a Death Café, and animal-assisted therapy practice. 

Williams LifeSkills® programme for students 
Adrienne Stauder, Semmelweis University 
Williams LifeSkills® (WLS) psychosocial skills programme is a small group training addressing the high stress load students often face. Psychoeducation and practising the skills helps to improve the participants’ stress management and communication skills. The modules include the management of negative emotions, short relaxation techniques, assertive communication and conflict-solving exercises, as well as the development of empathy and positive thinking in order to improve relationships and self-efficacy. 

Reflections on the Honours Class Innovation Health and Wellbeing 
Sjoerd Louwaars, Leiden University 
The PLNT supports challenge-based learning: an action-oriented, interdisciplinary and team-based approach to teaching and learning. It facilitates students to engage, learn and reflect on real Well-being Challenges and make an impact on the region. Participants go through all stages of an innovation trajectory and acquire the necessary skills to start entrepreneurial activities in wellbeing. 

Art of Learning Course - Alternative Ways for Teaching and Learning 
Dr János Kollár, Semmelweis University 
The programme focuses on five fields: Creativity improvement, Learning methods (mnemotechnics), Lecturing methods (basic principles and modern technology of teaching), the Application of Social Media (World Wide Web) in teaching, and Relaxation. In 20 hours, teachers and students learn how to teach or study at a higher level of quality.  This has already proved to be successful at universities in Hungary, at Malta University and  at Turku University (Finland). 

Monitoring and improving student mental health: the Caring Universities project 
Sanne van Luenen, Leiden University 
Caring Universities (CU) is an internationally embedded consortium of 4 Dutch universities that aims to monitor and improve student mental health. Students receive mental health surveys annually and are offered free online, guided programmes focused on reducing stress, improving mood, reducing procrastination and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.  Results have shown that students have found this a useful and effective programme, and they report a decrease in symptoms upon completion of the programmes. 

WARN-D: Forecasting Depression Onset in Students to Facilitate Prevention 
Carlotta Rieble & Ricarda Proppert, Leiden University 
As treatment efficacy for mental health problems such as depression remains disappointing, experts agree that focusing on prevention is crucial. We aim to develop a personalised early warning system, WARN-D, that forecasts depression reliably before it occurs. To do so, the WARN-D study will prospectively follow the daily lives of 2,000 students, starting October 2021,  through brief daily questionnaires with activity tracking via smartwatches. 

Understanding the Significance of Students’ Learning Orientations for the Well-being and Scholastic Success 
Giulia Vettori, University of Florence 
Study difficulties and early school leaving are crucial indicators of the efficiency of educational institutions and the well-being of students and teachers. This presentation will address the line  of studies and related findings on the influence that students’ learning orientations exert on students’ well-being and scholastic success. 

The quality of living for students' wellbeing 
Claudio Piferi, University of Florence 
This session will provide you with information on data and studies on improving the quality of university students’ residency. In Italy, law no. 338/2000 entitled ‘’Provision on housing and residences for university students’’ aims to remedy the lack of legislation and increase the available accommodations and residences for university students. Since the enactment of the law, a research group in the Department of Architecture of the University of Florence, part of the TESIS centre, represents the privileged observatory of the interventions  that have been carried out as a result of this law. 

Psychological wellbeing of Florence university students during the Covid-19 pandemic 
Fiammetta Cosci, University of Florence 
Living in a pandemic, which also implies social distancing, can be detrimental for  the psychological well-being of students. The factors that influence wellbeing and their effect will be illustrated with an interactive activity based on data collected during the 2020 lockdown period via an online survey offered to university students in Florence (n = 951). 

Student Support Groups 
Rosalinde Spitters, Leiden University 
The online ‘Student Support Groups’ provide a sustainable support network in challenging times of isolation, loneliness, and anxiety. The support groups consist of approximately 6 students and are hosted weekly by an experienced staff member or trained student assistant. During the sessions, participants discuss how everyone is doing, set personal well-being goals and support one another in the process of personal development. 

Underneath our fault lines: recommendations for peer2peer support 
Dardan Bastiaan, Leiden University 
This presentation follows a supportive group of students exploring the practice of meditation together as well as the efforts of the organisers to improve the well-being of students through action research. Though many students report having mental health problems, experience shows that it is difficult to draw students to well-being programmes; many students only take part after problems have escalated to such a degree that they are much more difficult to manage. In understanding this issue, contrary to a biochemical approach to well-being, we focus on adverse childhood experiences and attachment conditioning that could lead to unconscious self-sabotage and dysfunctional behaviour later in life. 

Chill Your Mind: A student mindfulness initiative 
Yentl Croese, Julia Hondema, Sara Hondmann, & Sanne Wolthuis, Leiden University 
As a Learning Experience Designer at Leiden University’s Centre for Innovation, I help teachers, students and staff create amazing (online) learning experiences. One of these projects is the Chill Your Mind course. Over the past year I have been able to work together with Sanne, Sara and Julia, three psychology Master students, on this amazing Mindfulness project for students. 

The Humanities Buddy Programme: A home away from home 
Aurelie van't Slot, Leiden University 
The Humanities Buddy Programme (HBP) pairs groups of new international students with senior students (buddies) who familiarise them with the Faculty, University and student life in Leiden or The Hague. The programme has proven very successful in supporting successful study completion and providing peer-to-peer support. Join this session to find out more about the Humanities Buddy Programme. 

Mentoring Programme at Semmelweis University 
András Végh, Márk Jámbor, Zsuzsanna Győrffy, Semmelweis University 
University can be a major source of stress for students. The Mentoring Programme at Semmelweis University aims to introduce first-year students to university life and provide practical, everyday advice throughout the first year of their studies, while also emphasising the importance of extracurricular activities and promoting students’ well-being. Join this session to find out more about the Mentoring Programme at Semmelweis University. 

Comprehensive student support strategy at Semmelweis University 
György Purebl, Semmelweis University 
In order to cater to the needs of students of generation Z, a comprehensive student support programme was developed at Semmelweis University that incorporates peer support, and the availability of online and in-person psychological counselling, as well as skills training programmes. These activities help students to achieve better stress- and conflict-management skills, psychological resilience and increased self-awareness and so reduce the risk of future psychological problems and mental disorders. 

POPcorner: Talent is what you make of it! 
Gianelle Vacca, Leiden University 
The POPcorner functions as an accessible study support group where students develop skills that enhance study success and create a sense of belonging through different activities. The target group is students who, due to their background or other reasons, find it difficult to connect with their study programme and/or fellow students. Join this session to find out more about the POPcorner and what it has to offer. 

Supporting Computer Science Bachelor's and Master's students 
Alexandra Blank, Anna van der Meulen, Leiden University 
The speakers provide tailored support to students at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science. The motivation for employing two coaches at LIACS was the awareness that students need different support in times of Covid-19 when “studying as students were used to” was restricted. The flexible approach includes such practices as coordination of student-to-student mentoring, the setting up of intervision groups for specific target populations (e.g. students with ADHD, students working on their thesis), and individual coaching, and has been shown to be successful in improving well-being. 

Measuring student well-being when conducting archaeological research 
M.H. van den Dries, Leiden University 
Engaging in archaeological activities as a volunteer activity or as entertainment is considered to contribute to the positive well-being of participants. Due to the corona pandemic, the question arose of whether university students conducting archaeological fieldwork as part of their university training also experienced positive well-being effects. In 2021 this was studied for the first time among students who had been restricted in their fieldwork activities for over a year due to the corona pandemic; the students indicated their emotions during four moments in the course of fieldwork and subsequent work in the lab. 

The role of student counselling service in medical education 
Imola Sándor, Semmelweis University 
Medical education can be very challenging for students. The amount of material they need to learn, exam stress, and time pressure, as well as the burden of responsibilities and experience with traumatic situations, can be emotionally overwhelming. In this presentation you will be introduced to the student counselling service of Semmelweis University and the suggestions based on their experiences for further improvement of the medical curriculum for better health  among future health professionals. 

Humania Socialisation Workshops at Semmelweis University 
Dr Piroska Balog, Semmelweis 
Humania Socialisation Workshop is an elective course at Semmelweis University for medical and dental students. It combines the methodologies of different skill development trainings, socialisation programmes and clinical case discussion groups using the Bálint approach. Students engage in self-awareness, personality development and soft skills group activities. Join this session to find out more about the Humania Socialisation Workshops. 

Student well-being at Leiden University’s medical faculty 
Yvonne Bent, Leiden University 
From 2019, the taskforce on student well-being at the medical faculty of Leiden University assessed existing interventions aimed at increasing student well-being and identified bottlenecks. In the near future, Leiden University aims to further improve student well-being by supporting and ensuring implementation of new interventions and increasing the visibility and accessibility of support. Join this session to learn more about these new interventions. 

Moodpep: self-help programme for students with feelings of depression 
Nadia Garnefski and Vivian Kraaij, Leiden University 
Although there is a high prevalence of mental health problems in young adults, the barriers to seeking help are high, including stigma, high costs and time issues. Moodpep was developed in 2019 as a guided online self-help programme for young adults (18+) with depressive symptoms, and has been shown to reduce symptoms with large effect sizes. It is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and includes 8 lessons and 4 themes: activation, relaxation, changing negative cognitions, and goal attainment. 

ACCESS Tertre: quality of spaces and well-being of campus users 
Jules Pierret and Barthélémy Jannot, University of Nantes 
Five geography students from the University of Nantes (UN) are carrying out a territorial diagnosis entitled ‘’Quality of spaces and well-being of UN students: the Tertre campus as an experimental field. What avenues should be explored to promote the well-being of campus users through more inclusive educational spaces?’’ Find out more about this study by joining this session. 

The Mental Health Symposium: exploring and enhancing mental health initiatives and resources 
Sloan Kudrinko, Semmelweis University 
The purpose of the Mental Health Symposium is to emphasise the importance of mental health and awareness amongst the EUniWell communities (staff, students, and teachers alike). At this symposium, you can both learn new ideas and exchange existing ideas on how mental health is addressed in the respective universities. Through interactive activities and discussion groups with guest speakers in the field of psychiatry, physical exercise/nutrition and time management, new ideas and initiatives can be taken back to the respective universities to enhance the mental health and well-being programmes. 

Do it for yourself, make it yourself! 
Pierre Malige, University of Nantes 
The FabLab of the University Institute of Technology of Nantes, named “The Créatelier”, brings together professors and students to share often simple but sometimes seemingly crazy projects. In their free time, passionate and creative students find the opportunity to develop personal projects and bring their ideas to life without being restricted by the technical constraints of heavy industrial machines. The students help and encourage one another to interact and make the space their home. 

Learn to be in balance: focus on non-academic but equally important life skills 
Pim van den Bos, University of Amsterdam 
Law student Pim van den Bos faced adversity during his student life. As a result, he came to see how a change in the university’s study environment could have helped him, and perhaps many others. Through the creation of ‘The Mindfulnest’ he provides moments of calm, to achieve his bigger mission to empower students to connect with themselves. In collaboration with the University of Maastricht, he recently launched a pilot among their students. During this presentation Pim will briefly share his journey, vision and findings on his initiative and student well-being.

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