The government’s latest announcement on restrictions and lockdown has been sending shockwaves through to every corner of the nation, with the student demographic being no different. From this week’s Covid Tracker (week 7) we found that 1/3 of students don’t think the government's response has been effective and an overwhelming 7/10 students don't want the lockdown restrictions to be relaxed. If they were, over 50% of students said this would leave them feeling concerned and worried. Suggesting that Johnson’s latest five-level alert strategy may be distressing for many students.
“They have not been transparent or honest with the public and have not communicated clearly or consistently, nor have they shown strong or clear leadership.”
“They cared too much about the economy than the people’s health in our country.”
- Student Hut Opinion Panel
So what does this mean for universities and what can they do to help ease the transition from total lockdown to relaxed restrictions, while supporting students in the process. Here’s what we found.
88% of students are currently concerned about their mental health.
But 1 in 10 students are now unable to access mental health services from their university.
What’s more, 13% of students also told us that disability support was no longer available from their universities.
This is the time to ramp up health services, not turn them down.
And what’s equally alarming; across the board, students were unsure what services their university was providing. Nearly 1/2 students did not know whether they could access doctors or health services, 1 in 3 students didn't know whether they could get counselling or mental wellbeing support and over half of disabled students didn’t know if they could access support either.
If your institution is one of the many that provides fantastic physical and mental health services, ensure that your messaging is highlighting them to your student audience, both prospective and existing. While promoting the support and wellbeing networks you have in place is a helpful and supportive way to recruit and reassure new students and their parents in this climate, it’s also a wise way to retain existing students who are feeling isolated and worried whilst back at home away from campus.
Students are looking for your support more than ever, make sure they know they can turn to you when they’re searching for it.
If you'd like to find out even more insights, upgrade for the full report here.