Students are in favour of stringent PPE and safety measures being implemented by universities ahead of the new academic year, according to a survey by Student Hut.
Eight in 10 students want their university lecturers and tutors to wear PPE, with 68% wanting this to happen in practical sessions/labs, 57% in seminars, 53% in lectures and 29% all the time. Students also told us that they would want to wear their own masks around campus, with 67% wanting to wear them in lectures, 59% in the library and 42% in union bars and cafes.
Despite this, three-quarters of students said they expect their teaching to be negatively impacted by the use of PPE. Nearly half of students said that wearing a mask would prevent them from speaking in lectures or seminars and 44% said it would prevent them from enjoying societies and clubs. A further 39% said it would hinder making friendships, and 25% said it would cause problems finding love.
The vast majority (88%) of prospective students said that a university’s response to coronavirus was important to them when deciding which university to attend. An overwhelming 98% said that a university’s overall hygiene would affect their decision, while 90% and 87% respectively said hygiene in their halls of residence and social distancing policies would have an impact.
“It’s clear that, while students are happy to comply with Covid-19 safety measures on campus, and are demanding safe and effective policies on how institutions plan to deal with the pandemic, they are also worried about the impact of the changes on their university experience.
It’s important that universities not only communicate their Covid-19 policies to prospective students, but also that they recognise how this might affect their enjoyment and experience of starting university, and put plans in place to mitigate these effects”
- Katherine Nicholls, Director of Research at Student Hut.