A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Tab has revealed that the University of Warwick spends just £11.92 per student per year on its mental health services.
Of the 40 universities included in the FOI, Warwick came 34th. Oxford topped the table, spending £48.25 per student, whilst the University of Central Lancashire came last with a mere £4.64.
Warwick was the lowest ranking Russell Group university included in the list.
The revelation of Warwick’s spending has led to Warwick Labour launching a petition to have Warwick Students’ Union (SU) support an increase in funding for mental health services.
Hannah Wright, the proposer of the motion and the International Campaigns Officer for Warwick Labour, commented: “Our university claims to be a world class institution, yet when it comes to student mental health it is letting us all down.
Our university claims to be a world class institution, yet when it comes to student mental health it is letting us all down.
Hannah Wright, Warwick Labour
“The services are overstretched and underfunded, with students waiting unacceptable lengths of time for ‘crisis’ appointments. The amount of money our university spends on mental health services is shockingly low compared to other major universities, and cuts to national mental health services are only adding to the strain.”
Hannah added: “We think Warwick students deserve better from their university and that mental health services should receive the funding they desperately need.”
Back in September, the Guardian highlighted that the number of students seeking counselling services at university has increased by 50% within the last five years.
A survey by the National Union of Students (NUS) also stated that 78% of students responding had experienced mental health issues in the last year.
Both Stuart Croft, Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor, and Warwick SU have raised student mental health as a high priority.
It has now come to the moment where universities need to invest and respond… We need mental health to be a top-level concern.
Stuart Croft, Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor
Stuart Croft, in a recent interview with the Boar, stated: “It has now come to the moment where universities need to invest and respond… We need mental health to be a top-level concern.”
In their aims for this academic year, Warwick SU’s Sabbatical Team pledged to lobby for reform in Warwick’s pastoral care and for more funding to be allocated.
President Luke Pilot has also recently been elected to the NUS Welfare Zone, with an improvement in mental health policy nationally one of his key aims.
Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Policy for the University, has been approached for comment.