As students went back to university last week (or started for the first time), we asked the Covid-tracker panel whether they were feeling happy with their choice of university and course so far.
The good news? Despite the weirdest freshers’ week on record, and Covid restrictions getting tighter by the day, the majority of students feel they made the right decision for them.
57% of students are very confident they chose the right institution, and 62% of students are very confident they chose the right course.
“My new university has been great, they congratulated me on Insta, they’ve emailed me everything I need to know and I’ve already found so many people that will be on my course. I’m really excited to get started.”
But not all students are feeling so positive right now. While the majority of students are enjoying campus life, some are still feeling unsettled about the life-changing decisions they made in the midst of lockdown and the Results Day fiasco.
“It’s still not my first choice uni so I’m not completely settled.”
“If I'm not having face to face teaching I don't think it's worth the price.”
We found that one in 10 students are already considering dropping out of university, and more than one in 10 are considering transferring to a different university or course. While this sentiment may not be raising alarm bells right now, that’s a significant proportion of students who are on a sliding scale to becoming disengaged very quickly if not nurtured correctly.
Our panel have previously told us that they appreciate clear, empathic communications from their institutions, so don’t be too quick to move on to recruiting the class of 2021; this year’s cohort are still in need of your support and guidance.
Make sure they feel welcome in their new home, and reassured in their choices, but confident to change their mind if needed. Can you help them as they consider a new direction? After all, changing courses is better than changing institution altogether.
Keep the lines of communication open, using your student data to inform tailored, personalised messages of support, guidance and inclusion. Providing this essential support, ensuring facilities are available and accessible, and being flexible and understanding towards students dealing with difficult circumstances will go a long way to convincing them that they’ve made the right choice of institution, with your institution.
If you would like to know more about what students have been telling us, and get full access to the Covid-tracker findings every fortnight, you can upgrade here.