Wellbeing & Higher Education

Theme: Creating a World That’s Thriving Together

Education includes learning about oneself and ones own inner strengths. However, most higher education institutions do not teach the skills for a well-balanced, healthy life. Initiated in 2009, the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being is an interdisciplinary research and teaching center at George Mason University dedicated to catalyzing human well-being. Our vision is to impact 10 million people in 10 years by teaching the science and practices that lead to a life of vitality, purpose, and resilience.


George Mason Chosen to Join Healthy Campus Initiative.”  George Mason University’s well-being and wellness programs recently received national recognition when the Fairfax-based university was chosen as the first higher education institution in Virginia to join the Healthy Campus Initiative, an effort to encourage colleges and universities to make their campuses healthier by adopting guidelines around food and nutrition, physical activity and programming.

The Global Youth Wellbeing Index Highlights Challenges to Education.  The Global Youth Wellbeing Index is a groundbreaking tool according tot he authors, The Center of Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the International Youth Foundation (IYF).  The report measures and compares the quality of life for youth in 30 countries to assess and compare the state of young people around the world.

The findings show that although youth ages 10 to 24 comprise a quarter of the global population, they remain an underutilized source of innovation, energy, and enthusiasm.  In fact, nearly half of the youth worldwide are under- or unemployed.  Across countries, key findings include:

  • A large majority of the world’s youth are experiencing lower levels of wellbeing.
  • Even where youth may not be thriving, they display success in certain areas.
  • How young people feel about their own wellbeing does not always align with what the objective data suggest.
  • Across countries, domain average scores indicate youth faring strongest in health and weakest in economic opportunity.
  • Find out which country ranks the highest.  Hint:  It is not the USA.

Click on “Education” to view the interactive map.  Click on a specific country to see data.  (Data is available only for the thirty countries used for the 2013-2014 index.)  Building on the foundation of primary education, secondary, tertiary, and vocational education, technical skills development is critically important for a youth’s long-term success.  Education has a direct impact on all areas of youth wellbeing including employment opportunities, civic engagement, health, and technology.  To read the full report, please visit: www.youthindex.org .

George Mason Launches Wellbeing Initiative.” In 2014, President Cabrera devised Mason’s Strategic Plan, which includes Goal #7: “Create a model well-being university that allows all of its members to thrive.” The president has asked The Center for the Advancement of Well-Being to become Mason’s central location for the Well-Being University Initiative.

Maddux Wins Fulbright to Help Lithuanian University.”  University professor James Maddux, an emeritus faculty member in the Department of Psychology and a senior scholar in the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, has won a Fulbright Specialist grant to work with Lithuania’s Klaipeda University, where he will help develop and teach in its new master’s degree program in counseling psychology.

 Model UN 1