Over a quarter of students had no in-person teaching last week

Latest Office for National Statistics statistics explore student behaviour and feelings – and reveal that significant numbers of students still missing out on in-person teaching

Over a quarter (27%) of students received no in-person teaching last week, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The experimental statistics come from the latest Student Covid-19 Insights Survey (SCIS) in England, which was conducted between 5 and 15 November 2021 and asked roughly 2,000 students about their behaviours, plans, opinions and wellbeing in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The findings reveal that 27% of students had zero hours of in-person teaching during the survey period. This represents little change from late October, when the figure was 28%.

At the end of the previous academic year, in late May, 77% said they had received zero hours of in-person teaching.

The survey’s other key findings:

  • Eighty-nine per cent of students said they had received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine; 9% said they had not been vaccinated at all
  • The majority (90%) of students reported they would request a test if they developed Covid-19 symptoms
  • Students reported a lower average life satisfaction score – 6.7 – than those aged 16 to 29 years (6.9) and the adult population in Great Britain (7.0)
  • Similarly, the proportion of students feeling lonely often or always was 17% – compared to 9% of those aged 16 to 29 years and 7% of the adult population in Great Britain
  • Roughly one-third (30%) of students said their mental health and wellbeing had worsened since the start of term


Earlier this month, minister for further and higher education Michelle Donelan wrote to vice-chancellors, saying they “should not be limiting face-to-face learning, or other activities, based on Covid-19 restrictions”.

Ms Donelan thanked “all those” who have implemented “a significant return” to in-person teaching but warned she continued to hear “too many concerns” from students that feel too much of their timetable is online. “Online learning should not be used to cut costs and should not reduce the quality of your offer,” her letter emphasised.

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