Global university access and COVID-19

This report from UK think tank the Sutton Trust assesses the impact of Covid-19 on access and success in higher education.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to higher education across the world. The World Bank estimated that, in April of this year, universities and other tertiary education institutions were closed in 175 countries and communities, and over 220 million post-secondary students had their studies significantly disrupted due to COVID-19.  Importantly, there are indications it may have a particularly pernicious impact on those in or seeking to enter higher education from lower income and other marginalised groups. Those hoping to enter this Autumn have to contend again with digital inequality, disruptions to exam preparation/admission systems, alongside the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on the health and economic welfare of their communities.

This brief draws upon a survey of education experts and government representatives which aims to assess in more detail the impact of COVID-19 on access and success in higher education of those from low-income groups and the responses by universities and policymakers.


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