A year ago, we brought a group of 17-year-olds together, embarking on their final year at school, to help us examine the question of the expectation versus the reality of higher education – we were particularly interested in the views of those not already in the system. There were certainly some strong themes that emerged that would challenge the present design of the student experience.
A year on, and our Class of 2020, is now undoubtedly the Class of Covid-19. A cohort who are about to embark on a significant life change within unprecedented conditions. In working closely with Higher Education institutions, we are acutely aware of the transformative changes that are having to be orchestrated in order to allow institutions to function when the new semester starts.
We have spoken about possible approaches to connect with these students in a recent blog. This inspired us to go back to our cohort and ask them how things were – we asked them about their plans, their concerns and whether they had any ideas that would make the transition easier.
There were six strong themes that emerged, helpful in understanding the mindset of this cohort, and which we believe institutions should consider in their present planning:
- The importance of location
- The learning experience, addressing embedded norms
- Financial planning
- Psychological impact of the current environment and it's affect on plan-making
- The disruption of the old and new social networks
- The information and communications vacuum.
Find our findings report here.