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How has Covid-19 changed higher education? 

The Covid-19 pandemic was as damaging as it was and has forever changed higher education. Many lives were put on hold as the country went into lockdown, not once but three times between March 2020 and April 2021. Students were suddenly unable to attend lectures or meet with their tutors or peers, and they temporarily lost access to the campuses that had become like second homes.  

The rise of online learning 

All eyes quickly turned to online learning as the solution, and for many students, it became the only choice to continue or complete their degrees. Academic leaders and tutors had to adapt course material rapidly, and university staff had to create a new remote learning environment that still supported students’ needs.  

Those higher education providers already geared toward offering students flexible study options found themselves in great demand. Although online learning has always been available in one form or another, the nationwide lockdowns led to unprecedented interest, and as a result, many universities were not prepared. This demand was not only from existing university students, who were desperate to complete their degrees, but online study fuelled renewed interest from mature students. They could now return to higher education, whether to further their existing careers or to re-train. International students had more opportunities than ever to access UK degree courses, as they could now study from almost anywhere. With the resources provided through online learning platforms such as Regent College London (RCL) Digital Services, it is possible to learn from almost anywhere in the world and do so on any device, whether a laptop, tablet or smartphone.  

More opportunities to interact with tutors

There are many benefits of attending lectures on campus, and the traditional face-to-face approach to higher education will always be preferred by many. Apart from the overall university experience, students enjoy an active social life, access on-campus resources and learn from their peers and tutors.  

Many students, however, are less able to attend higher education in the usual way or are less confident in a classroom environment and benefit from smaller class sizes or even a one-to-one approach online. This can be for many reasons. Work schedules may prevent them from attending, their spoken English may not be as strong as they would like, or perhaps the subject matter is more complex than they expected, and as a result, they find a classroom environment more challenging.  

Through the post-Covid adaptations to online learning, they now have a more direct and personalised level of contact with busy course tutors. This has enabled students to study at a pace they are most comfortable with and so can maximise the effectiveness of their studies.  

Renewed focus on student mental health

The Covid-19 pandemic affected everyone’s mental health, and for students, the closure of campuses and the disruption of classes were hugely stressful. As the dust settles on the past two years, one positive outcome is the increased awareness of current mental health issues and the openness to speak out.  

At Regent College London (RCL) London, we provide outstanding student support services that put student wellbeing front and centre right through their journey with us. Our services include personal support, academic advice, information on financial aid, study skills, and much more. Through our mobile app Mind Connect, students have immediate access to bespoke mental health information, guidance and helplines.  

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been felt in every part of higher education and has forced a rapid adoption of online learning methods. The pandemic has paved the way for new study options and greater flexibility and opened the doors for many to return to education.  

Why not see if studying for a degree online* could work for you?  

*Online learning is currently available for international students.