Promoting Positive Mental Health in International Postgraduate Law Students at a Time of Global Uncertainty: A Case Study from qLegal at Queen Mary, University of London
AbstractLaw student mental health and wellbeing was already a growing concern in the UK prior to COVID-19, but when the pandemic occurred, widespread uncertainty placed an unprecedented level of mental health burden on students. Law students were faced with dashed hopes, uncertain futures and the fear of negative academic consequences. This burden was exacerbated in respect of postgraduate international students in London, who were often also forced to decide whether to return home to their families, or to continue their studies abroad, albeit online. This paper uses a case study approach to discuss how one provider of postgraduate clinical legal education (CLE), approached the promotion of positive student mental health both before, and in response to, the pandemic. qLegal at Queen Mary, University of London provides CLE to postgraduates studying for a one year law masters, and in 2019-2020, qLegal delivered CLE to 134 students from 27 countries. The impact that the pandemic had on the mental health of international postgraduate law students was therefore witnessed first-hand. This paper discusses the challenges faced, and concerns raised by international postgraduate law students at qLegal as a result of the pandemic. It examines the steps taken by qLegal to maximise student engagement and promote positive student mental health when rapidly switching to a model of online delivery. The paper concludes by outlining the steps qLegal will take to monitor and address the impact that online delivery in this period of global uncertainty has on the mental health of the next cohort of postgraduate CLE students.
Copyright (c) 2020 Emily Wapples
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).