Universities are already meeting places for people of many faiths – and none. As faith becomes a more public issue, the challenge is for universities to build on and improve the services they provide to make the experience of students and staff alike as good as anyone else’s, regardless of their religious background.
In many places, chaplaincies are already highly effective in supporting the campus experience for students of faith. In some this applies, as well, to ‘religiously literate’ services such as catering and accommodation. But this is not always and everywhere the case and, for some universities, a better understanding the religious contexts of the students they work with will enhance the experience of both. For example, students of faith will want to know that their needs are being considered when it comes to exams and timetabling, the provision of faith spaces, and of counselling services which take account of religious perspectives, practices and traditions. Getting these things right on the campus can contribute significantly to a feeling of well being in the wider community and society.