Getting Serious about Leisure: practical, research-led approaches to supporting staff and student wellbeing through leisure

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Both positive student experience (and therefore retention) and staff wellbeing and morale require the maintenance of rich social lives and holistic identities beyond academic work. The pandemic has increased pressure even further on work/life balance for academic staff, whilst reducing the university experience for students to mainly programme-related teaching and learning activities. This session discusses both why and how we can maintain our own wellbeing as staff, and also for our students. This session argues that HEIs need to focus on two key areas to support staff and student wellbeing. Firstly, we need to support our staff, and students, to develop approaches to prioritising activities outside formal academic work. Secondly, that spaces for serious leisure pursuits should be made open and accessible to all staff and students.

The session will share how a podcast series about reflecting on experiences and
approaches to prioritising leisure activity, through the lens of Stebbins’ Serious Leisure concept, and drawing on the Arts and Health discourse, was found to be an impactful intervention to develop such approaches. The session will explore how similar interventions, can be employed to influence student development and thinking, about the place of leisure in student and professional lives.
This presentation will draw on the experiences of UWE Bristol’s unusual Centre for Music, which provides free music services and facilities for all staff and students at UWE Bristol. And how this is found to be an important part for the student and staff experiences for those involved, by offering accessible spaces where both come together outside of formal course and role-bound structures and boundaries.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2021
EventBrighter Future 2021 – Opportunities for Educational Change: SEDA Summer Conference -
Duration: 28 Jun 202129 Jun 2021


ConferenceBrighter Future 2021 – Opportunities for Educational Change
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