After 18 months of work including extensive research, evidence sessions and widespread consultation, the UPP Foundation Student Futures Commission, has published its final report.
The aim of the Commission was to understand how the pandemic was affecting new and current students and to work with them and the higher education sector to identify what could be done to get students back on track for successful futures.
The resulting report provides a blueprint for how universities and students could work together to develop Student Futures Manifestos.
The report sets out six key themes:
Support for students before they reach university
An induction into university life for each year of study
Support for mental health and wellbeing
A clear outline of the teaching students will receive and the necessary tools to access it
Activities inside and outside the curriculum that build skills, networks and communities
A clear pathway towards graduate outcomes
The research shows the full extent of the task as HEIs navigate out of the pandemic:
73% of students reported that the pandemic had a very or somewhat negative impact on their mental health;
57% of students said the pandemic had a negative impact on the knowledge they needed to succeed on their course;
52% of students felt they were somewhat or much below where they personally expected to be in their academic studies;
90% of students said they strongly or somewhat prefer in person teaching where content is also recorded.
Only 33% of students said they were slightly or very satisfied with the support their university had provided to help them find a job or work experience over the last 12 months
GTI supported the project through Cibyl student research and liaison with university careers leaders. GTI founder, Mark Blythe, is also a commissioner.
Mark Mitchell, chief education partnership officer, GTI, comments:
“GTI is proud to have contributed to this report and we are pleased to see a focus on mental health and wellbeing alongside career outcomes and employability in the report’s recommendations.
“Delivering this for all students in HE is a huge challenge. We believe careers, employability and student support teams will continue to lead the way, with the backing of HE leadership and increasingly an all-institution approach.
“GTI supports educators to deliver the best possible career outcomes for all their students including through the targetconnect platform and Cibyl student research.”
Read the full report here:
The Student Futures Commission was established by The UPP Foundation – a charity that aims to tackle the biggest issues facing the higher education sector across the UK. In light of the disruption everyone has faced during the pandemic, it is looking at how universities can take action to support students from September 2021 to make the best of their remaining time at university and support those who are starting their journey in higher education this year.
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