Aspires 3 Project Spotlight 1: Covid-19 (Institute of Education, University College London)

The ASPIRES project is a unique, long-term mixed-methods research study of the science and career aspirations of 10-23 year olds in England. The findings in this report are drawn from 48 interviews, taking place during the UK lockdown, with young people who have been part of the study for over 10 years.

This issue focuses on young people’s experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic. The young people involved identified more negative than positive experiences, with over 87% of young people in the study experienced a detrimental impact on their emotional wellbeing, financial situation, social lives and/or had increased levels of anxiety about the future.

However, 56% of the young people studied also identified some positive outcomes, such as time to reflect, grow and recuperate from their busy lives.

The report includes several recommendations which can be summarised as

  • Targeted financial support for HE students who have lost income as a result of the pandemic
  • Greater consistency in universities and degrees including online provision
  • Greater support for emotional and social wellbeing
  • Government and employers to take greater steps to learn from the experiences of young people
  • Better access to mental health and youth services
  • Improved careers support, advice and guidance

Read the full publication here.