COVID-19 UK pupil survey 2021 – Outcomes

Wanting again on a tutorial 12 months like no different, our new survey reveals the true influence of the coronavirus pandemic on college students. Here is what we discovered…

Credit score: Kate Kultsevych – Shutterstock

From begin to end, this educational 12 months has been massively formed by social distancing measures. For an unlimited variety of college students, there have been challenges to their talents to review, socialise, earn an earnings and rather more.

Following on from our earlier two surveys on the impact of the pandemic on college students from Could 2020 and November 2020, this survey offers an outline of the complete 2020/21 college 12 months.

Having surveyed round 1,300 college students throughout the UK, we’re in a position to reveal extra about how college students have navigated the difficulties of the pandemic throughout their levels. Learn on for our full findings.

Key findings from the COVID-19 UK pupil survey 2021

Earlier than we go into the survey’s findings in additional element, here is an outline of the important thing stats:

  • Over seven in 10 college students stated they’ve skilled poor psychological well being because of the pandemic.
  • 80% of scholars have needed to ask for assist with points associated to COVID-19 – however, of these, over half stated that it was tough or very tough to get assist.
  • Slightly below 20% of scholars have accessed hardship funding this 12 months, receiving a mean of £611.
  • Round two in 5 college students count on there to be face-to-face educating in September 2021.
  • Solely 4% of these within the survey have had a tuition price refund (both a full or partial refund).
  • Round three quarters of scholars are frightened in regards to the influence of the pandemic on their graduate job prospects.

Points college students have confronted resulting from coronavirus

Infographic saying 96% affected by the COVID-19 crisis

For the overwhelming majority of scholars within the survey, the pandemic has had a direct, detrimental influence on them this educational 12 months – with a specific toll being taken on their research (73%) and psychological well being (71%).

Infographic saying that 73% say study issues, 71% say poor mental health, 41% say money issues, 37% say forced to self-isolate, 32% say accommodation issues, 24% say loss of earnings, 14% say Student Finance issues, 8% say visa problems and 7% say other

On the subject of the influence of the pandemic on college students’ psychological well being, we’ve got seen a gradual enhance in every of our COVID-19 surveys within the proportions who cite this as a difficulty they’ve confronted.

In Could 2020, 60% stated their psychological well being had been affected, which elevated to 66% in November 2020. Now, on the finish of the tutorial 12 months, the proportion of scholars affected has elevated additional to 71%.

It is extraordinarily regarding to listen to from such a excessive variety of college students whose psychological well being has been impacted by the pandemic. For any college students who’re struggling, you’ll want to discuss to somebody for those who ever must, and find time for self-care.

How straightforward is it for college students to get assist?

As many as 4 in 5 college students within the survey (80%) have wanted to ask for assist with coronavirus-related points this educational 12 months. That is up from 61% in our earlier COVID-19 survey.

Infographic saying that 53% have found it difficult to get help

Of people who requested for assist, 53% (sure, over half) stated that it was tough or very tough to get assist. In reality, solely 3% discovered it very straightforward.

With so many college students understandably requiring help this 12 months, assist ought to have been simply accessible inside universities for many who want it. Sadly, evidently, too usually, this was not the case.

What college students say in regards to the influence of COVID-19 on college life

  • Pupil life all through COVID-19 has been extraordinarily lonely and isolating. I really feel like I’ve not had the possibility to satisfy anybody. I really feel like all I do is stare on the 4 partitions of my tiny room and it has positively affected my psychological well being.
  • [I] misplaced my job and had to make use of the college hardship fund 3 times because the starting of COVID.
  • I want the tutoring price was decrease this 12 months as we had the whole lot on-line and it was really a huge battle. If I used to be to enter classes on campus little doubt I might have gotten higher grades.
  • [My] self-employed mother or father could not work so [the] family monetary state of affairs acquired a bit worse, athletics coaching wasn’t on, college educating went completely on-line, discovered it laborious to socialize.
  • My psychological well being took a toll as I needed to spend a lot time alone […] I had so many qualifying exams that had been very tough and I had no earnings so I needed to apply for the hardship fund, however issues will lookup.

How are college students making up for misplaced earnings?

With round 1 / 4 of these within the survey coping with misplaced earnings because of the pandemic, how are college students plugging the cash hole?

Infographic saying that 50% have received money from parents, 32% would in an emergency, 31% sold possessions, 34% would in an emergency, 26% say they used an overdraft, 36% would in an emergency, 17% used university hardship funds, 43% would in an emergency, 15% used credit cards, 28% would in an emergency, 11% used something else, 23% would in an emergency, 7% say they got a bank loan, 26% would in an emergency, 6% say they gambled, 8% would in an emergency, 4% got a payday loan, 15% would in an emergency, 3% they did a drug trial, 24% would in an emergency and 3% did sex work, 11% would in an emergency

In comparison with our earlier two COVID-19 surveys, it is placing to note the will increase in college students saying they’ve used – or would use in an emergency – bank cards and college hardship funding. Here is what we have seen about college students’ reported use of every of those funding sources:

College students’ use of bank cards

If we first contemplate what number of college students have been utilizing bank cards to make up for misplaced earnings because of the pandemic, the proportion who say they’ve carried out so has elevated barely with every of our three coronavirus surveys.

In Could 2020, 9% stated that they had used bank cards, which went as much as 13% in November 2020 after which up once more to fifteen% on this survey.

Whereas bank cards can be used safely, they arrive with dangers – significantly if used at a time of economic battle. If utilized by someone who’s wanting money, there may very well be rather more danger of bank card funds getting missed and high-interest costs being utilized, solely making it harder for the person to get out of debt.

It is worrying that loads of college students seem to view bank cards as a manner of coping with a money disaster. On prime of the 15% who’ve used bank cards, 28% stated they might use them in an emergency.

For a lower-risk supply of cash, college students might contact their college to see whether or not they’re in a position to entry hardship funding.

How a lot are college students receiving in hardship funding?

Infographic saying that 18% of students have received university hardship funds

Notably, there was a rise in college students saying they’ve or would use college hardship funds if wanted. The proportion of scholars saying they’ve accessed this funding jumped up from 7% in each of our earlier COVID-19 surveys to 18% on this one.

The numbers saying they might use hardship funds in an emergency additionally elevated – 40% stated they might in Could 2020, which surprisingly dropped to 35% in November 2020, earlier than leaping again up once more to 43% this time.

Whereas this may increasingly counsel an elevated want amongst college students for hardship funding, it might additionally point out a rising consciousness that the funds are there for people who want them.

For instance, college students might have develop into conscious of the funds following the repeated messaging from the federal government that they’ve given a further £85 million to universities to assist with hardship funds.

Among the many 18% of scholars within the survey who stated that they had used college hardship funds, the common quantity they every acquired was £611.

What number of college students requested larger Pupil Loans in 2020/21?

When a pupil’s family earnings drops by a sure share, they’re able to apply to the Pupil Loans Firm (SLC) for a readjustment of their Pupil Mortgage quantity. This is named the Present Earnings Evaluation.

The quantity that the earnings must drop by for college students to be eligible varies in every a part of the UK. You possibly can see a breakdown of this in our information to Upkeep Loans.

As a part of our preparation for this survey, we made a Freedom of Info (FOI) request to the Pupil Loans Firm (SLC). We requested how the numbers of scholars making use of for a Present Earnings Evaluation differed in 2020/21 in comparison with 2019/20.

In response, we had been knowledgeable that in 2019/20, 23,119 utilized for this evaluation, which elevated to 33,697 in 2020/21 – that is a 46% year-on-year enhance.

It is price noting that there might be greater than 33,697 college students within the UK who skilled a major drop in family earnings this educational 12 months, however who didn’t apply for a Present Earnings Evaluation.

There may very well be a variety of college students who will not be conscious of the choice to use for the mortgage readjustment, whereas others could also be conscious however determine in opposition to making use of for any variety of causes.

Additionally, when contemplating the numbers, it also needs to be acknowledged that the pandemic won’t essentially be the one purpose for college students making use of for Present Earnings Assessments this educational 12 months.

Nonetheless, to see such a noticeable enhance within the numbers making use of from one 12 months to the following, it does point out that job losses, the introduction of furlough and extra pandemic-related reductions in family earnings might have had a major influence on the numbers needing to request larger Pupil Loans in 2020/21.

We additionally heard from a pupil who had hoped for an even bigger Upkeep Mortgage, however sadly did not qualify for the Present Earnings Evaluation:

[My parents were] financially affected – 14% earnings lower, however as a result of it wasn’t 15%, Pupil Finance would not rethink the quantity for [my] Upkeep Mortgage.

In addition they gave me far beneath the expected quantity for upkeep on their calculator and stated that the quantity acknowledged is not a assure and mainly [told me] to make do on an unliveable wage.

The place have college students been dwelling throughout time period time?

Infographic saying 41% had a private landlord, 25% lived in uni accommodation, 19% lived with parents/guardians, 10% lived in private halls, 4% own a property and 1% live in other accommodation

For simply over a half of scholars within the survey, they both remained in the identical lodging this 12 months (42%) or had moved however have since returned to their typical term-time lodging (11%).

However, round 1 / 4 have moved again residence with their mother and father and remained there, whereas an additional 10% have moved into a house that is owned by a personal landlord.

What college students say about their lodging

  • [I’ve] been dwelling by myself more often than not in my uni lodging because the uni restricted numbers in flats and my flatmates stayed at residence more often than not. It has been very lonely.
  • Because of the shift with on-line educating, I needed to transfer again residence. Although I saved on hire and acquired to reside with my household, my psychological well being has actually deteriorated on account of poor help from my college and feeling remoted.
  • [I] needed to hire a home subsequent to the college in an effort to go to lectures and seminars ([I] was paying £200 every week). On the finish, the whole lot was on-line and I by no means actually stayed on the home so I used to be mainly paying for nothing.
  • [I] pre-paid for lodging for a placement which was cancelled.

Face-to-face educating at universities

When it was introduced by the federal government that each one college college students might return to in-person educating from seventeenth Could 2021, we heard arguments that this was too little, too late for a lot of. It arrived very near the tip of the tutorial 12 months when many had been already fast-approaching examination season.

We requested college students in the event that they’d had any face-to-face educating this time period…

Infographic with a pie chart saying yes 66%, no 34%

Round two-thirds responded that they’ve had some face-to-face educating this time period.

However, what number of college students count on to return to face-to-face educating in September 2021?

Infographic saying that only 2 in 5 students expect face-to-face teaching in Septemer 2021

Regardless of 66% having face-to-face educating in the summertime time period of 2020/21, surprisingly, solely 38% say they do count on in-person educating in September, whereas an additional 33% are uncertain.

How have universities responded to coronavirus?

As mentioned earlier, a big majority of scholars within the survey (71%) stated that COVID-19 has negatively impacted their psychological well being.

This statistic is made all of the extra worrying by the extra discovering that two in 5 college students have been disillusioned with their college’s psychological well being help companies through the pandemic.

Whereas 28% stated they had been disillusioned with their college’s communication with college students through the pandemic, it’s price noting that almost all felt that it was both passable (44%) or good (28%).

Here is a rundown of what number of college students within the survey thought that their college had an excellent response to COVID-19 when it comes to their swap to on-line studying, communication with college students, dealing with of assessments and exams, monetary help and psychological well being help:

Infographic saying that 29% were happy with their university's switch to online teaching, 28% were happy with the communication with students, 27% happy with the handling of assessments/exams, 20% happy with financial support and 20% happy with mental health support

What number of college students have acquired tuition price refunds?

There was loads of debate lately about whether or not college students’ college experiences have been good worth for cash this 12 months.

Curiously, although, solely one in 5 college students within the survey stated they’ve requested a tuition price refund this educational 12 months, with 5% requesting a full refund, and 15% requesting a partial one.

Infographic saying that 96% of students have not received a tuition fee refund

After we have a look at what number of college students have acquired a tuition price refund, the numbers are considerably smaller – 1% stated they’ve acquired a full refund, whereas 3% stated they’ve acquired a partial one.

Impression of COVID-19 on graduate job prospects

Infographic saying that 74% of students are worried about graduate job prospects

Slightly below three quarters (74%) of scholars within the survey stated that they’re frightened about their graduate job prospects.

Curiously, this determine is barely down from the determine in our November 2020 survey, which noticed 79% say the identical. Nonetheless, each of those figures are up from 70% in Could 2020.

This might replicate that in Could 2020, it wasn’t absolutely clear how lengthy the pandemic would proceed, and to what extent the economic system can be impacted.

Maybe, as the federal government has now given a date for when lockdown measures will finish (prolonged from twenty first June to nineteenth July 2021), there may be now barely extra hope amongst college students about their graduate job prospects than there had been in November 2020.

About this survey

Our findings are utterly unbiased. We do not conduct our surveys to promote merchandise to college students, or to maintain universities and advertisers comfortable.

Since 2013, we’ve got reached out to school college students everywhere in the UK for his or her sincere opinions about college, with a give attention to pupil cash. We crunch the numbers to inform it like it’s and enhance the recommendation we offer throughout our web site.

If you wish to know extra in regards to the survey, want case research, feedback or quotes, we’re comfortable to assist – contact us.

Pupil Cash Cheatsheet

student money resource

Obtain The Pupil Cash Takeaway without cost. This printable PDF distils the easiest recommendation from our web site onto simply two pages, together with a one-minute price range sheet. It is designed to be accessible, enjoyable and fascinating.

We created this useful resource in response to the regarding findings from our current pupil surveys.