A final year at university is a special time for most students, either PG or UG.  Here, Felicity Gasparro, SUMS Associate Consultant, shares original research findings from a SUMS Survey of final year students on how their last year has been impacted by Covid-19.

In this report, we sought to find out what it was like for those students completing their finals and graduating through the Covid-19 pandemic and emergency social distancing procedures enforced as a result.  Called by some (incorrectly, we believe), the snowflake generation, it can’t be denied it’s been a tough few years. You could forgive this cohort for feeling that somehow their experiences of university and steps into independent living weren’t quite what they thought they would be when they took up their rooms in halls of residence across the country in 2016 or 2017.

We surveyed students from SUMS member universities, as well as posting the survey on social media. The results provide useful insights into the future, which universities can use to apply to their current and future plans for the finalist student experience. We also drew on a number of articles which help to add further context to the current circumstances, and questioned whether we had been here before, and how people graduating in challenging times managed and have ‘turned out’.  While this paper presents an overall perspective from final year students, we will be exploring widening participation and challenges relevant to our BAME students in the weeks to come. It will be particularly important to consider, going forward, the challenges BAME populations face in accessing all available PG options.

Read the full Rapid Response Briefing Paper – The Impact of Covid-19 on Final Year Students.

SUMS’ consultants are gathering in-depth views from university leaders across the full breadth of university operations. We’ll be publishing their service-by-service findings later this month. Register here to receive your copy of our full sector report.

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