29 September 2021
by James Robson

Pandemic and Higher Education policy: the UK as a policy laboratory

The challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic have significantly disrupted Higher Education (HE) over the last 18 months, impacting teaching practice, access, and student experience.

Once the pandemic struck, universities were swiftly thrown into disarray as they wrestled with lockdowns and social distancing requirements. New pedagogies had to be developed and technologies adopted to ensure appropriate teaching approaches were in place for online and hybrid classes.

At the same time, the challenge of teacher allocated A-Level results has thrown admissions into chaos for two years in a row.

With increasing numbers of students gaining top grades, although unequally distributed across private and public sectors, many universities have struggled (and continue to struggle) with unexpectedly large student cohorts. This has placed increasing pressures on teaching spaces, accommodation, resources, and staff time.

This has all contributed to a radically different set of experiences for Covid-19 pandemic cohorts. Students have had significantly less contact time and have missed out on key developmental experiences associated with HE, and becoming independent adults.

You can read the full blog on the UK in a Changing Europe page.