APSSA Special Issue Publication

Student Mental Health and Wellbeing in Higher Education:

Perspectives from the Asia Pacific Region


Editorial Team:

Chief Editor: Dr Jonathan MUNRO, Head of Counselling and Wellbeing, Griffith University, Australia


A/Prof LEE Kooi Cheng, National University of Singapore

A/Prof Vivian NG, National University of Singapore

A/Prof Maria Paquita BONNET, de la Salle University, Philippines

Dr Doria ABDULLAH, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Dr Leandro LOYOLA, de la Salle University, Philippines


Board of international reviewers:

Dr Christie White, University of Southern Queensland

Professor Tan Teck Koon, National University of Singapore

Dr K Puniamurthy, Malaysia, Past President APSSA

Dr Chris Hepperlin, Australia, Past President, APSSA




International research suggests university students are experiencing psychological distress at higher levels than that of the general population. This in part due to academic and financial pressures, isolation, loneliness and poor self-care and that university years often coincide with the critical transitional period between the ages of 17 and 25 years when mental illness is most likely to switch on. Despite contention about the whether the core business of higher education delivery includes supporting student’s mental health and wellbeing, universities across Australia and Asia have been independently developing policies and programs to respond to mental health issues presenting on campus.


Call for Papers

We invite contributions in three categories: policy, practice, reflection.


Policy-based papers will address the issue of mental wellness at a macro level, namely from national and institutional perspectives.  These papers may trace the evolution of mental wellness initiatives, programmes, or strategies in relation to local political and/or social landscape.  They may also provide a conceptual understanding of how these innovations and/or set the tone for new directions. Main sources of evidence could be policy papers, white papers, and official documents. [Length: Max of 3,000 words, excluding references and appendices]


Practice-based papers will focus on implementation of national or institutional directions at a meso or micro level in a student service practice context at higher education.  Papers at the meso level will provide a description of programme(s) and initiative(s) implemented for a particular community.  It should also include outcomes of a systematic inquiry on the impact or effectiveness of such innovation(s).  These papers could be reports of small research studies which are grounded in relevant theoretical underpinnings, and a robust research design. [Length: Max of 3,000 words, excluding references and appendices]


Reflection-based papers are practitioners’ critical reflection on their practice.  They are concise and should focus on one or two issues.  They could be positioned as exemplars of best practices, or reflective pieces on innovations that worked well or did not work in response to student mental wellness.  [Length: Less than 1,000 words, excluding references and appendices]



  • Submission due: 30 April 2021 (Fri)
  • Email to: Dr Jonathan Munro (
  • Acceptance notifications: 4 June 2021 (Fri)
  • Peer reviews (for reflection-based papers): As a contributor, you agree to peer review one or two manuscripts if your paper is accepted
    • Peer review assignment: 11 June 2021 (Fri)
    • Peer review returned: 9 July 2021 (Fri)
  • Final revised manuscripts due: 13 August 2021 (Fri)
  • Publication: October/November 2021



APSSA Webinar 2020


APSSA will be holding a webinar on October 30, 2020 (Friday), 11:00am (GMT+8) to provide a platform where responses and best practices of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the Asia-Pacific region may be shared. This activity aims to inform and educate the different student affairs and services practitioners in the region of the challenges, realities, and the opportunities brought about by the situation as the need to look after the students’ welfare and development still emerged to be very important in the new normal. 


 Webinar Theme: Student Affairs and Services in the New Normal: Challenges, Realities, and Opportunities  


The webinar session will focus on the presentation of the different initiatives and best practices of the HEIs in the Asia-Pacific region to continuously deliver the programs and services under student affairs and services. It will highlight the efforts of the HEIs from the following cities -- Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore- and Thailand. 









Entry to the Webinar Platform 

Meeting Room host 


Webinar Guidelines 



Overview and Welcome Address by President of APSSA (2018-2020)

Ms Angela Pok 


Panelists (Student Affairs Professional or Student): 

  1. Australia
  2. China
  3. Hong Kong SAR
  4. Japan
  5. Malaysia
  6. Philippines
  7. Singapore 
  8. Thailand 

The Live session 


Final Remarks – to share on 17th  APSSA International Conference 2021 & Closing



Short break (5 mins)



APSSA Annual General Meeting

Only for APSSA members





Panelists are from:






Dr. Christie White

President, Australia and New Zealand Student Services Association (ANZSSA)


Wu HaiFeng

Director of Student Affairs, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China

Hong Kong

Mrs. Jaime CHAU

Chairperson, Hong Kong Student Services Association (HKSSA)


Assoc Prof. Dr. Michiko Izumitani

Deputy Director of Office of Career Development Program for International Students Institute Ehime University


Prof. Dr. Azizan Abdullah

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Student Affairs, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM),


Dr. Aldrin Darilag

Commissioner, Commission on Higher Education, Republic of the Philippines


Richard WANG Kai

President, 41st Executive Committee National University of Singapore Students' Union (NUSSU), Singapore


Ms. Aphisara Saeli

Faculty, Political Science and Public Administration, Chiang Mai University, Thailand





APSSA ISA programme jointly organised by National University of Singapore,Nanyang Technological University

and Singapore Management University




12 & 13 December in Singapore


Here are the relevant links:
1. Event landing page:



Title: "Student Wellbeing and Mental Health at Universities: Key Challenges and Best Practices" 

Presenters: Dr Jonathan Munro, 
Prof. Kwok Kian Woon and Assoc Prof. Victor Yeo


Universities are complex organisations, which can also be usefully considered as “eco-systems” — with the idea that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. In the same vein, we speak of a university not just as an “institution” but also a “community”: its members (students, faculty, and administrators) are socially related to each other, and are pursuing not just individual but common goals. Put simply, learning lies at the heart of the mission of the university: learning within and beyond the formal curriculum. From this perspective, student health (including mental health) or wellbeing is not only a precondition for, or enabler of, learning. It is itself an integral part of self and group learning throughout the university years and beyond.

Our presentation hinges on a few basic propositions including the following:

  1. Students should take a strong interest in their own health and, more generally, in health literacy as part of university learning and, indeed, lifelong learning;
  2. Such learning takes place through various ways, especially beyond the formal curriculum, and this includes students learning about health events or issues in their own lives (e.g. illness, stress, coping with challenges and difficulties, etc.), as well as information sharing sessions and outreach programmes etc.; and
  3. “It takes a village”: Student health and wellbeing is not only a personal matter, it involves all members of the community looking out for each other.

In this respect, we will also present NTU’s “campus community approach to student wellbeing”. We hope that our presentation will serve as a springboard for conference participants to share their experiences so that we learn from each other’s best practices.



Dr. Jonathan Munro
Head of Counselling and Wellbeing Griffith University
DipTeaching, BA(Psych), GDipEdStud(RemedEd), MEd(Guid&Couns), PhD(SpecEd) 

kkw-web-150x150px Professor Kwok Kian-Woon 
Associate Provost (Student Life), Nanyang Technological University 
vy-web Associate Professor Victor Yeo
Deputy Associate Provost (Student Life), Nanyang Technological University


Call for applications:

China Trainee Program at German Institutes of Higher Education – German-Chinese Cooperation for Student Affairs 2014/2015


Chinese students still amount to the largest group of foreign students in Germany – the China Trainee Program, an award-winning cooperation program of Robert Bosch Foundation and the German National Association for Student Affairs, especially serves to support a sustainable preparation and integration of Chinese students in Germany in order to improve their success of studies. Since four years, the China Trainee Program is located in the higher education field to foster the transfer of know-how between China and Germany.

The program targets young executives from Chinese universities with first work experience in Student Affairs and very good German language skills, who

are interested in realizing specific projects developed for German-Chinese cultural exchange.

Please find more information in the attached info-flyer and at our website:

The closing date for applications will be 28th of February, 2014.


Contact and application:

Vera Yu 喻斐云


Deutsches Studentenwerk e.V. (DSW)

Monbijouplatz 11

D - 10178 Berlin

Telephone +49 (0)30/29 77 27-76

Telefax +49 (0)30/29 77 27-99

Skype: china-traineeprogramm


启事: 德国高校的中国训练计划—德中大学生服务合作2014/2015






Vera Yu 喻斐云 


Deutsches Studentenwerk e.V. (DSW)

Monbijouplatz 11

D - 10178 Berlin

Telephone +49 (0)30/29 77 27-76

Telefax +49 (0)30/29 77 27-99

Skype: china-traineeprogramm



China-Traineeprogramm an deutschen Hochschulen – Deutsch-Chinesische Kooperation für Student Affairs 2014/2015

Die Studierenden aus China bilden nach wie vor die größte Gruppe internationaler Studierender in Deutschland – eine Herausforderung im Studienalltag,

bei der sich das China-Traineeprogramm für eine nachhaltige Verbesserung von Integration und Studienerfolg der chinesischen Studierenden einsetzt. Das

China-Traineeprogramm, ein preisgekröntes Kooperationsprojekt von Robert Bosch Stiftung und Deutsches Studentenwerk, läuft seit vier Jahren erfolgreich

an Studentenwerken und Hochschulen und fördert den Wissenstransfer zwischen China und Deutschland im Bereich Hochschule und Bildung.

Das China-Traineeprogramm richtet sich an Nachwuchsführungskräfte chinesischer Universitäten mit ersten Berufserfahrungen aus dem Bereich Student Affairs

und sehr guten Deutschkenntnissen, die Interesse haben, Projekte zur Förderung des deutsch-chinesischen Austausches zu realisieren.

Weitere Informationen finden Sie im angehängten Flyer und auf unserer Website:

Der Bewerbungsschluss für das China-Traineeprogramm ist der 28. Februar 2014.


Kontakt und Bewerbung:

Vera Yu 喻斐云


Deutsches Studentenwerk e.V. (DSW)

Monbijouplatz 11

D - 10178 Berlin

Telephone +49 (0)30/29 77 27-76

Telefax +49 (0)30/29 77 27-99

Skype: china-traineeprogramm


View flyer here:-