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The British Active Student Survey 2019/2020 has been launched for students attending UK colleges and universities, with the aim of understanding physical activity levels and the relationship between health and wellbeing, academic attainment and employability.

The ukactive Research Institute, British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS), and AoC Sport have partnered with Matrix Fitness and Sport England, to continue the evolution of the British Active Students Survey, which will close on Friday 20 December 2019.

For the first time this year, the British Active Students Survey will be sent to students attending both further and higher educational institutions in order to build on the evidence built over the past three years.

In return for completing the survey, students will be entered into a prize draw with the chance of winning one of six £50 ASOS gift vouchers.

Data collected across Scottish universities (2016/2017), British universities (2017/2018), and British colleges (2018/2019) has revealed that active students have higher mental wellbeing, social inclusion, and more positive perceptions of academic attainment and employability compared to inactive students.

Similar findings are also present in students who took part in sport and attended the gym, compared to students who did neither.

The British Active Student Survey for 2019/2020 will include additional questions to understand motivations behind physical activity, links to competitive sport within an institution as well as against other institutions, and further insights into mental wellbeing such as the levels of student loneliness.

Institutions will have the opportunity to receive the data in order to undertake a comparison to the data reported for further and higher education.

Data will be made available if an institution is able to get five per cent of their full-time equivalent students to complete the survey.

Dr James Steele, Principle Investigator at the ukactive Research Institute, said: “The findings and evidence produced from the British Active Student Survey to date have shown how those who are more active and take part in sport and gym-based activities have better mental wellbeing, inclusion, perceptions of succeeding academically and, ultimately, becoming employed.

“ukactive is delighted to be working in partnership with key partners to further the evidence across further and higher education.

“We understand the difficulties students face, the pressure of moving away from home, social pressures, and getting the grades needed.

“Educational institutions have a responsibility to support their student’s wellbeing as well as educate them.

“With the current focus on the mental wellbeing of students, collecting further data to determine how physical activity can support wellbeing is vital.”

Vince Mayne, CEO of BUCS, said: “BUCS is delighted to be working with key partners to deliver the British Active Student survey for the second time.

“The insight this provides to our core market enables us, through our members, to focus delivery and make a strong case for investment in sport and physical activity as truly cross-cutting and impactful interventions on students wellbeing and achievement.”

Steve Frampton MBE, President, AoC said “AoC Sport are delighted to launch the British Active Student Survey.

“Last year’s report provided us with powerful insight into the motivations and barriers to sport and physical activity.

“It also enabled us to make the case for investment in sport and physical activity by demonstrating the positive impact on student’s personal development, wellbeing and achievement.

“The report is also a celebration of the fantastic work colleges are undertaking to enhance student’s academic and employment prospects through providing high quality enrichment opportunities”

Julian Taylor, Commercial Director at Matrix Fitness said “Matrix Fitness is proud to support and work with key partners to deliver the British Active Student Survey for a second year.

The 2019 report not only provided great insight into the positive impact physical activity has on mental health and personal wellbeing, but also highlighted the barriers that still exist.

We hope the report will enable, not only us, but other organisations to develop and deliver solutions and education to the sector, allowing them to enhance the student experience, improving wellbeing and engagement.”