The report, carried out by construction consultant Symonds Group, John Moores University and planning consultant Charlton Smith, looked at the results of surveys of 30 higher education centres. It said staff were willing to cover health and safety but required help from the industry over specific needs.
It said risk was not taught as a topic or integrated into the curriculum.
The report recommends that universities forge better links with industry and that government and funding agencies raise the profile of health and safety in the education sector.
The report recommends that "an umbrella body, such as the Construction Industry Council, leads in developing a pan-industry standard curriculum template for health and safety risk management delivery in undergraduate courses".
Kevin Myers, the HSE's chief inspector of construction, said the report provided the background knowledge required to take action.
He added: "It is also clear that more needs to be done to ensure that risk management teaching is universally incorporated into undergraduate professional education."