Covid-19 student data round-up

Webinar assets from 27 May 2020

We share key trends in student sentiment and activity during covid-19. Watch the recording of this session and read the key takeaways. Don’t forget to sign up for future webinars.

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Watch the full webinar recording:
Covid-19 student data round-up

Presenter: Lorna Greville (Education Account Director)

  • Covid-19 timeline – looking back over what happened and how it affected the education sector
  • Student trends – what they’ve been thinking, feeling and saying
  • Unanswered questions – what students need to hear from you now
  • Looking ahead – projecting students’ future needs based on analysis of the data and climate

girl user testing digital experiences

Key covid-19 student data trends

We’ve been gathering data from a series of student polls and online user behaviour analysis:

  • Spikes in mental health posts correlate with education announcements: school closures, calculated grades and student number caps
  • 16% of students we polled are thinking of changing their university choice due to covid-19
  • Virtual campus tours/open days voted most popular way for students to learn about universities, followed by live streaming events
  • 61% of polled students were worried that student number caps could affect their place at uni
  • 12% of respondents said they planned to defer because of student number caps and the lack of a decrease in fees, a further 15% were undecided about going to university in 2020
  • 70% of Year 10 and 12s feel forgotten by the government
  • The Student Room’s email engagement sees significant boost in March (open rate +98%, clicks +67% YOY) with posting also up 27% YOY in April (+ 83% in Unis and HE colleges, +81% EU posters – figure excludes UK)

    Looking ahead

    • Our analysis shows that accommodation, money and budgeting are hot topics in June. Talk to students about these key issues.
    • If you have an UPP, use your monthly report to plan your student communications strategy. The report forecasts the coming month’s trending topics.
    • Use HE sector research: TSR Insight has surveyed students about how coronavirus is affecting their education choices. Wave 1 of the Navigating changing options is available now and covers April (free and exclusive to UPP clients). Wave 2 will be available at the end of June 2020 and covers May (free and exclusive to UPP clients with a lead gen trial).


      student using virtual tour on phone

      girl user testing digital experiences

      Unanswered questions

      Don’t worry if you don’t know the answers. Just make sure you engage young people in conversation around these issues and keep them updated on what you are doing. Here are some of the key questions they are asking now:

      • Will I get the grades to get in?
      • Will my grades be what I actually deserved?
      • How much teaching will be on campus in the autumn semester?
      • Can I still move into halls?
      • Will the online teaching actually be good?
      • Will be I be able to use the labs?
      • Will there be a freshers week?

        Key takeaways

        1. Regular, supportive communication: you don’t need to give students all the answers now. What’s important is that you keep them updated on your progress, acknowledge their pain points and connect with them in a human way (formal language keeps people at a distance).
        2. Plan ahead: use your monthly UPP report to plan your communications strategy, you’ll find analysis on key trends for the coming month.
        3. Early engagement: Year 10s and 12s in particular feel neglected in this pandemic. Nurture relationships with them now, while they’re making pivotal decisions about their subjects and education pathways.
        4. Online events are expected: this is especially important for firm and insurance applicants. Also consider events for parents.
        5. Use available resources: TSR free training webinars, Official Rep training, TSR Insight Navigating Changing Options report, online research, TSR Talks, TSR lead generation, UPP and other insight reports

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