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It's different kinds of difficult: student experiences of COVID and lockdown.

Butler-Warke, Alice; Mueller-Hirth, Natascha; Woods, Ruth; Timmins, Svenja


Svenja Timmins


Since March 2020 when the first lockdown was announced, the university student experience has changed. Students have experienced isolation, boredom, financial hardship, mental health concerns, and have missed the in-person aspects of their education. Some students have felt moral judgements from others for their actions or perceived actions, and many have felt that young people have been demonised by the media. Our research wanted to hear about student experiences during the pandemic and lockdown. We surveyed 124 students at Scottish universities, and held three focus groups to understand the key challenges faced and the strategies used to survive these past months. We made the decision to feedback our findings both in a student-facing format and a report to be made available to Scottish universities to help institutions know what can be done to help students. We hope that these documents give voice to the student experience and recognise the dedication of students over the past year. We recognise that while not all students have experienced lockdown the same, all experiences are valid. In the remainder of this document, we will highlight the key challenges that you told us that you faced. We will provide quotes and explanations as well as helpful strategies that were suggested and, where relevant, further resources to consult. Universities will have different names for processes and different systems in place but we hope that these ideas will give you somewhere to start.


BUTLER-WARKE, A., MUELLER-HIRTH, N., WOODS, R. and TIMMINS, S. 2021. It's different kinds of difficult: student experiences of COVID and lockdown. Aberdeen: Robert Gordon University.

Report Type Research Report
Online Publication Date Jul 23, 2021
Publication Date Jul 23, 2021
Deposit Date Jul 23, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jul 26, 2021
Publisher Robert Gordon University
Keywords COVID 19 pandemic; University student experience; Isolation; Boredom; Financial hardship; Mental health; Lockdown
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