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:

Ph: +64 3 364 1777

Anna Reihana
Ph: +64 3 687 2600

Good One Party Register.

New code sets clear expectations for learner safety and wellbeing

Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced a new code of practice for the pastoral care of domestic tertiary and international students will be in place from 1st January 2022.

The code makes clear that creating an environment that supports learning and wellbeing is a shared responsibility between tertiary providers, students, whānau and the wider community.

“The introduction of the new code will further support the wellbeing and safety of domestic and international students,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Having positive wellbeing and care is essential for young people to get the most out of their tertiary education experience, when they’re on campus or in university halls.

“Releasing the new code is a big step towards improving student experiences. It also reflects this Government’s commitment to creating a New Zealand where all people feel safe, have equal access to opportunities and do not experience discrimination.”

The code builds on the existing Interim Code and International Code by strengthening the requirement for a whole-of-provider approach with learners at the centre. There are no changes to requirements for schools in New Zealand that host international students.

Page last updated: 22/10/2021

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