How can the university environment support student quality of life? A novel conceptual model

Alyson Dodd*, Georgia Punton, Joanna Mary Averill McLaren, Elizabeth Sillence, Nicola C. Byrom

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

During emerging adulthood (18–25 years), university students have taken steps towards independent living and learning. However, they are also in a liminal phase before the ‘stable roles’ of adulthood. This developmental context distinguishes them from both adolescents and peers who are not attending university. In order to support student well-being, their unique priorities and concerns need to be taken into consideration. This qualitative study explored what life domains were important to students, and what influenced Quality of Life (QoL) within these, in order to build a novel conceptual model of student QoL. Individual interviews (n = 18) were conducted with undergraduate students (aged 18–25 years). The themes derived via Template Analysis were Supportive and Rewarding University Studies, Personal Growth, Social Support, Concerns about Finances and Financial Independence, Physical Environment, Physical and Mental Well-being, and Maintaining Balance. As well as conceptualising QoL in students, this model has practical value for operationalising student QoL. It is a framework to help universities to understand the needs and priorities of students and provide well-being initiatives in line with these needs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number547
Number of pages13
JournalEducation Sciences
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2024

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