Supporting health and wellbeing in tertiary education settings

Groups of students sitting on a green space outside a university building. Source: University of Canterbury.Community and Public Health is involved in promoting health and wellbeing in tertiary education providers. Tertiary education providers such as universities, polytechnics, institutes of technology, and wānanga can positively influence the health and wellbeing on campus – for all staff and students.

Community and Public Health staff provide support, services and information to tertiary institutions including:

Wellbeing and Vitality in Education (WAVE) is involved with tertiary education providers in South Canterbury.

Using the Okanagan Charter framework

Health promotion in tertiary or higher education is receiving greater attention recently. The Okanagan Charter was developed in 2015 and is an international charter for health promoting universities and colleges.

The Okanagan Charter has two calls to action:

  1. To embed health into all aspects of campus culture, across the administration, operations and academic mandates, and
  2. To lead health promotion action and collaboration locally and globally.

Higher education providers are placed to create, share and apply knowledge and research to improve the health of people and communities both now and in the future.

Resources for staff and students at tertiary providers during COVID-19

Tertiary Wellbeing Aotearoa New Zealand has compiled some lists of resources available to help staff and students with the wellbeing challenges associated with distance learning during COVID-19.



Download or order resources from the Community Health Information Centre.


For further information, contact:

Anna Thorpe
Ph: +64 3 364 1777

Anna Reihana
Ph: +64 3 687 2600

Good One Party Register.

New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students

The Government changed the law in December 2019 to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation.

“The tragedy at Sonoda student accommodation in Christchurch exposed the limits of the old system of self-regulation. It was based on a voluntary code and failed to maintain adequate standards at tertiary providers around the country,” Minister for Education Chris Hipkins said.

“We have moved quickly to change the Education Act so there are better protections in place for students from next year. We’ve created a Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of domestic tertiary students which providers must comply with.”

The interim Code took effect from 1st January 2020. The Government will work with learners, whānau and the sector in 2020 to develop a long-term ongoing Code which will take effect from 2021.

Page last updated: 17/09/2020

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