A review of resilience in higher education: toward the emerging concept of designer resilience

Rebecca Anne Price*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
489 Downloads (Pure)


Higher education (HE) students experience rates of depression and anxiety substantially higher than those found in the general population. Many psychological approaches to improving wellbeing and developing student resilience have been adopted by HE administrators and educators, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. This article aims to review literature regarding integration of resilience and wellbeing in HE. A subsequent aim is to scope toward developing foundations for an emerging discipline specific concept–designer resilience. A literature scoping review is applied to chart various conceptual, theoretical and operational applications of resilience and wellbeing in HE. Twenty-seven (27) articles are identified and analysed. The scoping review finds that two general approaches to implementing resilience and wellbeing training exist in HE. First, articles reacting to a decline in student mental health and remedying this decline through general extra-curricular resilience or wellbeing programmes. Second, articles opting for a curricula and discipline-specific approach by establishing why resilience will be needed by future graduates before developing and testing new learning experiences. The presence of cognitive flexibility, storytelling, reframing and reflection lie at the core of the practice of resilience and design and therefore offer preliminary opportunities to develop ‘designer resilience’ training. Future research opportunities are identified throughout the article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-99
Number of pages17
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Curricula
  • design
  • higher education
  • resilience
  • student
  • wellbeing


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