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Covid-19: University students not dropping out despite disruption

By Sean Coughlan
BBC News family and education correspondent

student Covid tests

image copyrightAndrew Milligan

image captionStudents have been getting Covid tests this week ahead of going home in the “travel window”

The number of students dropping out of their university courses across the UK has been lower this term than in previous years.

Despite the pressures of the pandemic and campus lockdowns, figures from the Student Loans Company show a fall in those leaving this autumn.

About 5,500 students withdrew from courses, compared with 6,100 last year.

The figures have been released on the day that the “travel window” opens for students to go home for Christmas.

The lower drop-out rate reflects the lack of any better alternatives this year, suggested Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute think-tank.

“What else are you going to do? You can’t travel

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University of Surrey to lower entry grades in recognition of Covid disruption | University of Surrey

The University of Surrey has become the latest higher education institution to lower its entry requirements for next year in recognition of the disruption to education caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Entry grades will be reduced by one grade for most undergraduate programmes starting in September 2021 to help relieve the pressure and anxiety faced by young people who will have had their learning significantly disrupted across two academic years.

Last week the University of Birmingham also announced it planned to reduce entry requirements for 2021 by one grade, meaning pressure on other universities to follow suit is likely to grow.

Lizzie Burrows, the director of recruitment and admissions at the University of Surrey, said: “We are taking this action now to relieve the pressure and anxiety facing this year’s applicants, as they experience ongoing disruption and uncertainty surrounding exams and assessment of their learning.

“By taking this step, we

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Victoria coronavirus disruption causes leap in university applicants citing ‘difficult circumstances’

More than half of all Victorian Year 12 students have applied for special consideration in their university applications, due to the impacts of remote learning and the Covid-19 pandemic.



a public transit bus on a city street: Photograph: Picture Partners/Alamy


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Picture Partners/Alamy

Applications citing difficult circumstances have more than tripled this year as Victorian students struggled with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, bushfires and remote learning.

More than 30,000 Year 12 students have applied for category four of the state’s special entry access scheme (SEAS), categorised as “difficult circumstances”, which applies to their university entry and includes the disruptions of remote learning.



a public transit bus on a city street: RMIT University in Melbourne. Sixty per cent of Victoria’s year 12 students applying for university are seeking special consideration because of Covid-related difficulties.


© Photograph: Picture Partners/Alamy
RMIT University in Melbourne. Sixty per cent of Victoria’s year 12 students applying for university are seeking special consideration because of Covid-related difficulties.

In 2019, only 10,016 students applied for the same category.

Related: Sydney university staff found to be working nearly a day a week unpaid

Of

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Education Disruption Brings School Digital Strategies Into Focus

Al Kingsley is MD of NetSupport, Chair of 2 Multi-Academy Trusts in the UK and a regular presenter on all things #EdTech.  @AlKingsley_edu.

With education thrown into disarray by the pandemic, the challenge of providing teaching and learning for K-12 students has been — and continues to be — immense.

Even before the virus made such an impact, many schools had already realized that a growing array of apps and solutions — that they sometimes only used for a short time before abandoning for the next best thing — was not the way to achieve meaningful, technology-enhanced teaching and learning experiences for their students. These were the schools that had defined (or were in the process of defining) a sustainable, pedagogy-driven, whole-school digital strategy for the longer term.

It is, of course, no surprise that they could move more easily to an online learning model than others that had

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