Universities need to support students more to manage the impact of COVID-19

New research published by the UNITE Group shows most students (93%) intend to remain at university and continue with their courses for the rest of this academic year, despite the significant challenges caused by COVID-19.

More than four in five students (85%) also said it was likely they would stay in their current accommodation to do this.

However, the survey also revealed challenges for universities. While nearly two thirds of students said their university has done a good job of supporting them, just over half of the students that took part in the survey said they would still like to receive more support.

Commenting on the survey results, British Safety Council Chief Executive, Mike Robinson, said,

“It has been a challenging period for all of those who work in the university sector. This research suggests the sector may benefit from additional help to meet the added demands to support students and keep them safe and secure while they continue their studies.

Our Being Well Together programme, which we launched in September, is a new integrated solution for all health and wellbeing needs and brings together the latest thinking from experts. The programme will enable a university, or any other organisation, to assess its current requirements and health and wellbeing provision, understand any gaps and explore the most effective measures for it to take.

We understand the need for students to be at university, for their education, development and their mental wellbeing. Where students have to attend classes and live in halls of residence, we must ensure they are as COVID-secure as possible. The British Safety Council’s own COVID Assurance Assessment service can help ensure the right control measures are in place. Together, with students following rules of social distancing, we can reduce the risks they and their fellow-students, friends and family face”.