Media releases

MEDIA RELEASE: CAPA welcomes university leaders’ commitment to research student wellbeing

3 Oct 19

CAPA welcomes university leaders’ commitment to research student wellbeing

The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) welcomes a commitment from the Australian Council of Graduate Research (ACGR) to develop a set of national principles on how universities should support the mental health of research students.

CAPA Women’s Officer and PhD student at the Curtin University School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Romana-Rea Begicevic, spoke at the research student wellbeing forum convened by ACGR earlier this week.

“Recent reports from overseas find that half of PhD students experience psychological distress, and one third are at risk of a common psychiatric disorder,” she says. “Local studies and our experiences suggest a similar situation in Australia, resulting in poor completion rates for doctoral study.”

Romana-Rea’s presentation noted the current lack of nationally recognised and endorsed guidelines to support universities to deliver best practice responses, and identified the need for graduate schools to make mental health support more accessible to students.

We are delighted that ACGR will develop guidelines to extend best practice and improve mental health support resources available across the sector. Their leadership will provide an imperative for graduate schools across Australia to better support the wellbeing of their students.

We look forward to collaborating with ACGR to continue to improve the working conditions of research students.

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For comment:
CAPA National President Natasha Abrahams
M: 0430 076 993
E: president@capa.edu.au