Two thirds of students want to return to university after the Christmas break

Eir NolsoeData Journalist
December 23, 2020, 4:19 PM UTC

Half of students also want to receive face to face teaching next term – currently most are only taught online

New YouGov data shows that despite much negative coverage around students’ experiences during the pandemic, most would like to return to university rather than stay at their home outside term-time once Christmas is over. 

About half of students (53%) say they would like to come back to university and be taught in-person or in-person and online. Another one in eight (13%) want to return but be taught entirely online, while a quarter (26%) would prefer to stay home and attend classes virtually.

Students living on campus or in private accommodation are most keen to return. Nearly two thirds say their preference would be to come back and have at least some in-person teaching (63%). One in seven (15%) want to return but only be taught online. A similar proportion (14%) want to stay home and have classes online.

Among students who have spent most of the autumn/winter semester living with their parents or guardians, half want to return to university next term. This includes just over two fifths (44%) who want at least some in-person teaching, while 6% would prefer only being taught online. Another two in five (38%) want to stay put and attend classes virtually.

Currently, only a third of students are being taught in person – either combined with virtual learning (30%) or exclusively (3%).

Most students living away from home are going back for Christmas

The research also shows that four out of five students (78%) who live on campus or rent privately will spend Christmas at their home outside term-time. One in six (16%) will stay in their student accommodation.

The student travel window was 3-9 December, so most students intending to go home have probably already done so. Most students (58%) feel their university communicated clearly with them about the logistics around returning home for Christmas, but the majority say the government’s messaging was unclear (59%).

See the full results here