Local lockdowns off-limits for students?

Eleana Davidson on 11 August 2020

We’ve all seen the news. Leicester, Luton, Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire are all implementing local lockdowns to control the spread of coronavirus. But we wanted to know exactly how students felt about these developments and what impact it would have on their education decisions. Here’s what we've uncovered by asking students through the Student Hut Opinion Panel:

Three in five students say they are worried about their university being put under local lockdown. 

Not a student-unique worry but when we explored that anxiety further, we found 38% of prospective university students said that if their chosen university was in an area put under local lockdown, it could affect their decision to study there. Significantly, 20% of students said confidently that it would alter their choice. 

And it’s not just prospective students willing to reroute. Four in ten current students said that if their university was in an area put under local lockdown, this could affect their decision to re-enrol. 

Perhaps playing into the notion that the number of students still planning to attend this September has dropped by 4% this week, with over 13% of students saying they were now planning to defer until next September or later, a 3 point increase from the week before. 

“I don’t want to pay for virtual classes. I don’t think I will receive the same quality of education or university experience.” 

“You may pay for uni but end up doing online classes in the winter. Not for me.”

How can you reassure your prospective and current students that if a local lockdown is put in place, their education, mental health and experience will be protected as much as possible? 

“Students are concerned and rightly so. A local lockdown can seem to happen overnight and for them, online learning has become something they wish to avoid. They don’t want to watch friends in other university towns have the experience they can’t. What’s important is universities tackle this anxiety head-on. It’s a temporary and measured situation, and you’re ready to do everything you can to support them. You’re not going to have all the answers, and that’s okay. Just keep in regular, honest contact.” - Kas Nicholls, Director of Research

If you would like to take a look at the full report and get first access to the findings every fortnight, all you need to do is upgrade here

And if you would like to talk to strategists about what you can have in plan for a potential local lockdown, you can do so here

Eleana Davidson
Eleana Davidson on 11 August 2020