Our strategic goals
Enhance student health and wellness in order to increase the proportion of students who complete their studies successfully and, in so doing, reduce the time it takes for students to graduate.Build capacity and develop the attitudes, knowledge and skills that students acquire at university or college in relation to general health and holistic wellness.Assist in the production of graduates who are well-prepared for family and career responsibilities by developing their grasp of the importance of health and wellness in the family and work contexts.Develop an environment conducive to health at post-school education and training institutions by nurturing an appreciation of and commitment to human rights as a fundamental part of student development and wellbeing.Achieve higher levels of organisational effectiveness and efficiency in order to reduce organisational costs and increase funding for health and wellness-related projects.Strengthen and expand partnerships with higher education institutions, government departments, funding and donor agencies, and other organisations in the broad field of student health, wellness and development.Strengthen and expand HIGHER HEALTH’S funding base, involving a variety of funding sources in order to secure operational sustainability.
These goals inform the following programme objectives:
The prevention of ill-health among students.The provision of quality healthcare and psycho-social services.The promotion of health awareness and healthy lifestyles.Addressing social and cultural aspects of campus life that impact on student health.
The health promotion and clinical services at universities and TVET colleges have grown steadily over the years under the guidance of HIGHER HEALTH. During and since 2018:
The campus-based peer-to-peer education programme (2nd curriculum) that is delivered through face-to-face engagements with students increased to 850 000 students. A wide range of campus activities, such as student clubs and societies, dialogues, debates, focal group sessions, residence initiatives and other forums with a political, cultural, social, philanthropic, religious or sports focus, are used as platforms to discuss health, wellness and other social challenges.An “army” of approximately 4 000 peer educators – students acting in a voluntary capacity – is responsible for the success of face-to-face health mobilisation. Some 1 000 lecturers and other relevant staff members serve as peer mentors, providing training to peer educators and assisting with the coordination of activities. More than 80 campus clinics have been established in the past three years, mostly at TVET colleges through partnerships with provincial and district health authorities. They vary from new fixed clinic facilities to mobile clinics and facilities set up in college buildings while a parallel effort is made to upscale the infrastructure of clinical services at universities. Building the capacity among existing clinic staff so they can address mental health became a major focus in 2018. Routine supplies of treatment, commodities, clinical supplies and diagnostics services have now been streamlined across most of our campus infrastructure, offering students easy access to primary healthcare services.More than 220 000 HIV tests and a similar number of screenings for TB and STIs were performed. The majority of these happen during First Things First activations when testing services are taken out of the clinic setting into the mainstream of campus life.Students had access to 11.7 million condoms, including a limited number of female condoms. The distribution of condoms on TVET campuses is improved substantially.More than 205 000 students were screened for blood pressure, blood sugar and other NCDs, with those affected being linked to care.Woman students accessed over 66 400 routine long-acting contraceptives.Significant gains were made in strengthening the campus response to GBV and mental health problems among students. HIGHER HEALTH played a key role in developing the National Policy Framework to Address GBV in the Post-School Education and Training Sector and is helping institutions prepare for implementation of a comprehensive response. Collaboration with community and campus radio stations so they can create programmes on health and empowerment of young women results in regular broadcasts on these topics by more than 10 radio stations.