The Application of Salutogenesis in Universities

Dooris, Mark T orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5986-1660, Doherty, Sharon Helen orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7420-8080 and Orme, Judy (2016) The Application of Salutogenesis in Universities. In: Handbook of Salutogenesis: Past, Present and Future. Springer, pp. 237-245. ISBN 978-3-319-04599-3

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This chapter focuses on how health can be created, maintained and supported in university settings. It first explores the higher education context and introduces key concepts that underpin ‘healthy universities’ and the application of a settings approach within this sector. It then presents a summary of key developments and of theoretical and empirical research in the field, reflecting on the relationship to salutogenesis, before discussing key themes emerging and outlining challenges for the future.
Key observations emerging from this chapter include:

Healthy Universities has explicitly emphasised whole system approaches and drawn on socio-ecological theory and systems thinking, emphasising the importance of creating environments and contexts that support and maintain health, wellbeing and human flourishing.

Although informed by an underpinning salutogenic orientation, Healthy Universities implementation and research has tended not to be framed explicitly in terms of salutogenic constructs.

Higher education, like many other sectors, has witnessed a growing focus on wellbeing, resilience and coping – perspectives that are not the same as, but clearly relate to, salutogenesis.

Universities are complex systems and in guiding future developments, it will be important that salutogenic thinking informs research, policy and practice at multiple levels.

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