From education to employment

New research sheds a light on how universities will operate when term starts

New research from QS Quacquarelli Symonds (@QS_Corporate), the higher education think-tank and compilers of the QS World University Rankings,  has shed a light on how students and staff can expect universities to operate as they get ready to open their campuses again for the start of the academic year.  

The research comes as thousands of students prepare to receive their A-level and BTEC results on Thursday 13 August following the cancelation of exams earlier in the year due to COVID-19.  

The research reveals that most students can expect to receive a blend of online and face-to-face teaching, be encouraged to follow social distancing measures and have access to hand-gel stations. The research also revealed that only a quarter of staff expect face masks to be mandatory.   

Key statistics which help to paint a picture of what university life will be like for students and staff include:  

  • 98.3% of those surveyed said their institution is planning to deliver teaching both online and face-to-face, with: 

o    70.7% expecting teaching to be done mostly online with some face-to-face 

o    19% expecting an equal split between online and face-to-face 

o    8.6% expecting teaching to be delivered mostly face-to-face with some online delivery 

  • 82.8% of those surveyed said their institution is installing hand-gel stations around campus 
  • 65.5% of those surveyed said their institution is holding lectures and seminars in larger rooms to minimise close contact in large gatherings 
  • 37.9% of those surveyed said their institution is issuing staff with personal protective equipment (PPE) 
  • 25.9% of those surveyed said their institution is making the wearing of face-masks mandatory for staff and students

The research also found that 54.4% of those surveyed expect the main campus of their institution to be fully open  to students this year (in either September or October), with 38.6% saying they expect campus to be fully open in January 2021.  

The findings come from a QS survey of 104 staff members from UK universities about the impacts of COVID-19 on their institutions. Staff members included university Deans, Vice-Chancellors and Registrars.  

Commenting on the findings, Marketing Director at QS, Paul Raybould, said: 

“Understandably, there is lots of uncertainty for students preparing to receive their A-level and BTEC grades this week without taking their exams. This is already an anxious time for students and this data helps inform students on how they can expect universities to operate when they start their studies in September.

“These insights are more important than ever as the sector navigates this unprecedented situation and finds ways to balance delivering great student experiences and high quality teaching, while maintaining social distancing.”


Related Articles