IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


VIRTUAL EVENT: Out of the Brexit frying pan and into the pandemic fire

03 November 2020, 2:00 pm–3:00 pm

UCL Library. Image: Mat Wright for UCL

A discussion of the tough times UK higher education is currently facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Centre for Global Higher Education

There has been great work in developing testing systems in many institutions. Despite this, there are dramatic public health problems, with the COVID-19 pandemic flaring up in more than 120 individual universities and with more to come.

Intensive student accommodation, swollen by a 7 per cent increase in numbers, incubates the pandemic with the danger that this will spill over into local communities.

For institutions there are fundamental uncertainties about retention, revenues and financial sustainability. For students’ face to face learning, the boundaries of legitimate activity and freedom of movement can transform or disappear overnight. The compact between students and their institutions is also in question. 

This is not a good time to be a student in UK higher education. However, one positive outcome of the pandemic is the upsurge of student agency in many parts of the country. A spirit of optimism and mutual support is carrying many through the crisis but not all of the problems are yet apparent.

In this webinar, Jason Arday, Danny Dorling and Andy Westwood will discuss the tough times UK higher education is currently facing.


  • Jason Arday, Durham University
  • Danny Dorling, University of Oxford
  • Andy Westwood, University of Manchester


Image: Mat Wright for UCL