The British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Active programme has attracted 17,411 participants during its three stages of its projects, according to its impact report.
BUCS Active was delivered in three stages - tackling inactivity in female students, using physical activity to tackle mental health issues and inactive students from low socio-economic backgrounds.
These were delivered between April 2018 and February 2021.
Sport England funding has been used to invest in 38 universities to deliver 52 projects.
All three BUCS Active initiatives surpassed their participant targets, while a total of 1,424 people were trained in workforce opportunities in areas such as mental health awareness and leadership development.
Mental well-being - using the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale - rose after students attended these initiatives.
"The expansion to the focus areas of the project during its third iteration enabled us to grow the reach and impact of BUCS Active at a time where it was most keenly needed," said Jenny Morris, director of delivery at BUCS.
"The continued support and investment from Sport England has been integral to the project's success, but the impact would not have been possible had it been for the buy in and commitment from the universities delivering initiatives on the ground.
"The innovative thinking behind individual projects is the driving force behind the fantastic engagement levels we have been able to record.
"Not just in relation to the original concepts, but across the response we have seen to the unique challenge of the last 12 months."
The impact report also showed a British Active Student Survey, which stated that active students were more likely to expect a higher degree level and were more confident about employment than those who were inactive.