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Students’ views on the impact of Coronavirus on their higher education experience

  • 30 June 2020
  • By Rachel Hewitt
  • HEPI number Policy note 24

Key findings:

  • One-in-five students (19%) say they have had ‘very clear’ communications on Covid-19 from their higher education institutions (down from 31% in March).
  • Two-thirds of students feel positive about the communications, three times higher than the proportion who feel negative – 66% say the communications are ‘very clear’ or ‘quite clear’ against 21% who say they are ‘quite unclear’ or ‘very unclear’.
  • Nearly half of students feel they have received clear communications about the next academic year from their higher education institution – 10% say the communications about next year have been ‘very clear’ and 33% ‘quite clear’.
  • The majority of students are satisfied with the way their higher education institution has handled their remaining assessments for this academic year – 20% say they are ‘very satisfied’ and 43% say they are ‘quite satisfied’.
  • Fewer students are satisfied with the online learning that has replaced face-to-face teaching than they were in March – 42% are either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘quite satisfied’ compared to 49% in March.
  • Just under half say they are satisfied with the delivery of support services, such as careers support and mental health support, during lockdown – 13% are ‘very satisfied’ and 31% are ‘quite satisfied’.
  • Just over half of students (57%) are living away from their usual term-time residence and nearly a third (30%) of all students say they have received a refund on accommodation costs or early release from a contract.
  • There is a clear hierarchy of expectations among students on the measures that institutions are exploring for the next academic year: 75% expect increased hygiene, 71% expect some learning online and 71% expect social distancing measures but only 26% expect limitations to courses, 25% expect a delayed start to term and 18% expect all learning to be online.

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