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Dig-In, the UK’s leading student engagement and insight company, today revealed that 76% of university students in the UK think that their degree results will be negatively affected if lectures are moved online during the 2020-2021 academic year. 70% of UK university students are opposed to the idea of moving lectures online, with 43% saying they ‘hate’ the idea. Only 13% viewed the prospect of doing lectures online next year positively.

Dig-In’s app provides real time data analysis and market insights, and was used to canvas the views of over 2,000 students from more than 80 universities across the UK, with a large majority expressing concern at the prospect of universities moving courses online. The research has coincided with news that Cambridge University will be shifting all lectures online next year, and Manchester will be only offering online lectures until the end of the autumn semester.

Dig-In, which works closely with universities to help improve student wellbeing, wants to ensure that universities can help adapt to the challenges of COVID-19 by understanding the views of its students. The research has also revealed that:

  • 90% of students feel that traditional face-to-face lectures are more engaging than virtual lectures; the same percentage of students said that they prefer face-to-face lectures.
  • 75% of students say it is more difficult to ask questions during online lectures, which is unsurprising given that 54% of UK students say the majority of their online lectures today are pre-recorded.
  • Only 31% of students are ‘happy’ with the current online lectures that are being delivered; 43% are unhappy and 26% are undecided.
  • 84% of students say they expect a reduction in tuition fees if lectures are all online next year.

Students believe that COVID-19 will cause short and long-term challenges for them. 70% of students believe that COVID-19 could affect their future career prospects. A third-year student from The University of Liverpool said, “I’m not seeing many companies hiring graduates at the moment. The job market was already competitive but now it’s hard to see where opportunities are going to come from. Even networking with potential employers has become difficult during lockdown.” Meanwhile, 69% of students say that current uncertainty around exams, due to COVID-19, is having a negative effect on their mental health.

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Christopher Platt, Founder and CEO at Dig-In said: “Students are understandably concerned that their university degrees will be impacted by COVID-19, which may result in some universities moving lectures online next year. Face-to-face lectures have always been a key part of students’ university experiences. We hope that our university partners can use this feedback to help optimise their lectures – regardless of whether they are all online, or a hybrid of face-to-face and online – to provide students with the knowledge and confidence to tackle their exams and future employment opportunities.”

Dig-In provides the official university welcome boxes to 460,000 students across over 150 UK universities and accommodation providers. Through the Dig-In app, universities, brands and charities can obtain real time insight and market research from up to 50,000 students.

 

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