Looking back on an academic year like no other, our new survey exposes the true impact of the coronavirus pandemic on students. Here’s what we found…

Woman at desk wearing face mask with chart in the shape of the coronavirus virus

Credit: Kate Kultsevych- Shutterstock

From start to finish, this academic year has been massively determined by social distancing appraises. For a prodigious number of students, there have been challenges to their abilities to study, socialise, make an income and much more.

Following on from our previous two cross-examines on the effect of the pandemic on students from May 2020 and November 2020, the survey results presents a general overview of the full 2020/21 university year.

Having cross-examine around 1,300 students across the UK, we are able to reveal more about how students have navigated the difficulties of the pandemic during the course of its grades. Read on for our full findings.

What’s in this report?

Key knows Issues students have faced due to coronavirus How easy is it for students to get help ? How are students establishing up for lost income ? How countless students requested bigger Student Loans during the year ? Where have students been living during term experience ? Face-to-face teaching at universities Are students happy with their university’s response to coronavirus ? How many students have received tuition fee indemnities ? How do students feel about their grad job prospects ?

If you’re struggling with debt at university, there are always people who can offer help and advice until you get back on track with your finances.

Key meets from the COVID-1 9 UK student survey 2021

Before we go into the survey’s finds in more details, here’s an overview of the key stats πŸ˜› TAGEND

Over seven in ten students said they’ve knowledge poor mental health due to the pandemic. 80% of students have had to ask for help with issues related to COVID-1 9- but, of those, over half said that it was difficult or very difficult to get help. Exactly under 20% of students have accessed hardship funding this year, receiving an average of PS611. Around two in five students expect there to be face-to-face teaching in September 2021. Only 4% of those in the survey have had a tuition fee refund( either a full or partial refund ). Around three quarterss of students are worried about the impact of the pandemic on their graduate job prospects.

Issues students have faced due to coronavirus

Infographic saying 96% affected by the COVID-19 crisis

For the vast majority of students in the survey, the pandemic has had a direct, negative impact on them this academic year- with a particular toll being made on studies and research( 73%) and mental health( 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

With regards to the impact of the pandemic on students’ mental health issues, we have noticed a steady increase in each of our COVID-1 9 inspections in the proportions who cite this as such issues they have faced.

In May 2020, 60% said their mental health had been affected, which increased to 66% in November 2020. Now, at the end of the academic year, the proportion of students changed has increased further to 71%.

It’s unusually concerning to hear from such a high number of students whose mental health has been impacted by the pandemic. For any students who are struggling, be sure to talk to someone if you ever it is necessary, and make time for self-care.

How easy is it for students to be helped?

As countless as four in five students in the survey ( 80%) have needed to ask for help with coronavirus-related issues this academic year. This is up from 61% in our previous COVID-1 9 examination.

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

Of those that asked for help, 53%( yes, over half) said that it was difficult or very difficult to get help. In fact, simply 3% learnt it very easy.

With so many students understandably involving help this year, help should have been easily accessible within universities for those who need it. Unfortunately, it seems that, too often, this was not the case.

What students say about the effects of COVID-1 9 on university life-time

Student life throughout COVID-1 9 has been extremely lonely and isolating. I feel like I’ve not had the chance to meet anyone. I feel like all I do is stare at the four walls of my insignificant room and it must surely affected my mental health. [I] lost my job and had to use the university hardship fund three times since the beginning of COVID. I care the tuition fee was lower this year as we had everything online and it was truly a massive struggle. If I was to go into tasks on campus no doubt I’d have gotten better evaluates. [My] self-employed parent couldn’t work so[ the] household financial situation got a bit worse, athletics instruct wasn’t on, university belief went entirely online, discovered it hard to socialise. My mental health issues made a toll as I must be given to devote so much time alone […] I had so many qualifying exams that were very difficult and I had no income so I had to apply for the calamity store, but things will look up.

For any students wishing to complain to their university and potentially get compensation, our navigate illustrates the process.

How are students representing up for lost income?

With around a fourth of those in the survey dealing with lost earnings due to the pandemic, how are students plugging the money gap?

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

Compared to our previous two COVID-1 9 cross-examines, it’s striking to notice the increases in students saying they have consumed- or would use in an emergency- credit cards and university rigor funding. Here’s what we’ve noticed about students’ reported give of each of these funding sources πŸ˜› TAGEND Students’ operation of credit cards

If we first consider how many students have been using credit cards to make up for lost income due to the pandemic, the proportion who say they have done so has increased somewhat with each of our three coronavirus surveys.

In May 2020, 9% indicated that they had employed credit cards, which croaked up to 13% in November 2020 and then up once again to 15% in this survey.

While credit cards can be used safely, they come with dangers- peculiarly if used at a time of monetary skirmish. If used by somebody who is short of cash, there could be much more risk of credit cards pays coming missed and high-interest accuses is being implemented, simply obliging it more difficult for the individual to get out of debt.

It’s worrying that a lot of students appear to view credit cards as a mode of dealing with a currency crisis. On surpass of the 15% “whos been” exploited credit cards, 28% indicated that they would use them in an emergency.

For a lower-risk source of fund, students could contact their university to see whether they’re able to access hardship funding.

How much are students receiving in calamity fund?

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

Notably, there has been an increase in students saying they have or would use university calamity stores if needed. The amount of students saying they have accessed this funding pranced up from 7% in both of our previous COVID-1 9 overlooks to 18% in this one.

The numbers saying they would use hardship monies in an emergency also increased- 40% indicated that they would in May 2020, which astonishingly fallen to 35% in November 2020, before start back up again to 43% this time.

While this may suggest an increased need among students for affliction funding, it could also indicate a growing awareness that the funds are there for those that need them.

For example, students may have become aware of the funds following the echoed messaging from the government that they have given an additional PS8 5 million to universities to help with destitution funds.

Among the 18% of students in the results of the investigation who said they had exploited university calamity monies, the average amount they each received was PS611.

How numerous students solicited bigger Student Loans in 2020/21?

When a student’s household income removes by a certain percentage, they are able to apply to the Student Loans Company( SLC) for a readjustment of their Student Loan amount. This is known as the Current Income Assessment.

The amount that the income needs to drop by for students to be eligible motleys in each part of the UK. You can see a deterioration of this in our guide to Maintenance Loans.

As part of our preparation for this survey, we made a Freedom of Information( FOI) request to the Student Loans Company( SLC ). We would like to know how the numbers of students is asking for a Current Income Assessment differed in 2020/21 compared to 2019/20.

In response, we were informed that in 2019/20, 23,119 applied for this assessment, which has risen to 33,697 in 2020/21- that’s a 46% year-on-year increase.

It’s worth noting that there may well be more than 33,697 students in the UK who experienced a significant drop in household income this academic year, but who did not apply for a Current Income Assessment.

There could be a number of students who are not aware of the option to apply for the credit readjustment, while others may be aware but decide against applying for any number of reasons.

Also, when considering the numbers, it should also be acknowledged that the pandemic will not necessarily be the only reasonablenes for students applying for Current Income Assessments this academic year.

However, to see such a noticeable increase in the numbers applying from one year to the next, it does indicate that job losses, the coming into force of furlough and additional pandemic-related reductions in household income could have had a significant impact on the numbers needing to request bigger Student Loans in 2020/21.

We likewise heard from a student who had hoped for a bigger Maintenance Loan, but unhappily didn’t qualify for the Current Income Assessment πŸ˜› TAGEND

[ My mothers were] financially altered- 14% income reduce, but because it wasn’t 15%, Student Finance wouldn’t reconsider the amount for[ my] Maintenance Loan.

They too gave me far below the prophesied extent for maintenance on their calculator and said that the amount territory isn’t a guarantee and mostly[ “ve been told”] to make do on an unliveable wage.

Where have students been living during term period?

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 students in the results of the investigation, they either remained in the same accommodation this year( 42%) or had moved but have since returned to their customary term-time accommodation( 11% ).

But, around a fourth have moved back home with their parents and remained there, while a further 10% have moved into a home that’s owned by a private landlord.

What students say about their housing

[ I’ve] been living on my own most of the time in my uni housing as the uni limited numbers in marshes and my flatmates bided at home most of the time. It’s been very lonely. Owing to the shift with online schooling, I had to move back home. Though I saved on rent and got to live with my family, my mental health has really deteriorated as a result of inadequate substantiate from my university and feeling isolated. [I] had to rent a home next to the university in order to go to castigates and seminars ([ I] was compensating PS200 a few weeks ). At the end, everything was online and I never actually stayed at the house so I was basically paying for nothing. [I] pre-paid for accommodation for a placement which was cancelled.

From the results of our National Student Accommodation Survey 2021, we estimate that roughly PS1 billion has been squandered by students on unusable housing in 2020/21. Make sure you know your tenancy titles.

Face-to-face schooling at universities

When it was announced by the government that all university students could return to in-person teaching from 17 th May 2021, “weve heard” disagreements that this was too little, too late for numerous. It arrived very close to the end of the academic year when countless were already fast-approaching exam season.

We requested students if they’d had any face-to-face teaching this term…

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

Around two-thirds responded that they have had some face-to-face teaching this term.

But, how many students expect to return to face-to-face teaching in September 2021?

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

Despite 66% having face-to-face teaching in the summer word of 2020/ 21, surprisingly, exclusively 38% “says hes” do expect in-person teaching in September, while a further 33% are unsure.

How have universities responded to coronavirus?

As discussed earlier, a great majority of students in the survey( 71%) said that COVID-1 9 has negatively affected their mental health.

This statistic is made all the more worrying by the added finding that two in five students have been thwarted with their university’s mental health issues support services during the course of its pandemic.

While 28% said they were saddened with their university’s communication with students during the course of its pandemic, it is worth noting that the majority felt that it was either acceptable( 44%) or good( 28% ).

Here’s a rundown of how many students in the survey thought that their university had a good response to COVID-1 9 in terms of their switch to online learn, communications with students, handling of assessments and exams, financial support and mental health support πŸ˜› TAGEND

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

How many students have received tuition fee indemnities?

There has been a lot of debate recently about whether students’ university know-hows have been good value for fund this year.

Interestingly, though, merely one in five students in the survey said they have requested a tuition fee refund this academic year, with 5% request a full rebate, and 15% soliciting a partial one.

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

When we look at how many students have received a tuition fee refund, the numbers are significantly smaller- 1% said they have received a full rebate, while 3% said they have received a partial one.

Impact of COVID-1 9 on postgraduate job prospects

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

Just under three districts( 74%) of students in the survey said that they are worried about their graduate job prospects.

Interestingly, this figure is slightly down from the figure in our November 2020 canvas, which considered 79% say the same. However, both of these figures are up from 70% in May 2020.

This could reflect that in May 2020, it wasn’t perfectly clear how long the pandemic would be maintained, and to what level the economy would be impacted.

Perhaps, as the government has now given a date for when lockdown quantities will end( lengthened from 21 st June to 19 th July 2021 ), there is now slightly more hope among students about their grad job prospects than there had been in November 2020.

About the survey results

Our discovers are completely independent. We don’t conduct our overlooks to sell concoctions to students, or to keep universities and advertisers happy.

Since 2013, we have reached out to university students all over the UK for their honest rulings about university, with a focus on student money. We crunch the numbers to tell it like it is and improve the advice we furnish across our website.

If you want to know more about the survey, need case studies, notes or excerpts, we’re happy to help- contact us here.

Source: COVID-1 9 UK student survey 2021/ www.savethestudent.org Inspection polled 1,302 university students in the UK between 20 th May- 22 nd June 2021 Data from previous inspections is available here Save the Student Press Page Tools and resources.

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