• Ian Pain

Future Plans Survey

Updated: Mar 6

Here at Crowd we are proud to be partnered with SACU who provide brilliant information, advice and guidance to 16-18 year olds exploring their next options. The SACU website provides free tools for exploring courses and career options to help navigate those key decisions on their future plans.



It would be stating the obvious to say that college students have had a tough time during the lockdown and so we wanted to get a clearer handle on exactly how young people are feeling. So we asked the 60,000+ students who make up the SACU community to tell us what their plans are and how they feel about their outlook over the next year.

Many of the results reaffirmed what we already suspected but amongst there are a few surprises as well. Here are my key highlights from the survey:

  • The appetite to head to University in September 2021 is high! Students feel like they have missed out; see their alternative options as limited and University can provide a step back to normality with the added bonus of a degree alongside it!

  • We know that applications to University are strong at the moment and Universities are also likely to recruit beyond what they may have usually done

  • However…

  • 98% of students feel as though COVID will impact their student experience. It’s key for Universities and Students’ Unions to give confidence to new and returning students around how their experience will look and how they will be supported. For those who get this right they could win in terms of student recruitment

  • Two thirds of students are unsure or 50/50 about going to University despite applying

  • There are still significant numbers of students suggesting they may defer. Given that deferring students may find that options for work and travel don’t materialise we could see students enter into clearing


  • The factors above all present a big opportunity for University marketing teams leading up to and around A-Level results 2021

  • A key point which comes through is that students want to get back to face to face activities; meeting friends and having experiences. These elements are key things when students are choosing their institution beyond simply whether they can do the course they want

  • 22.45% of students are still unsure where they plan to live this coming September. We surmise that students are holding back on committing at this stage. There is an opportunity for accommodation providers to reassure students that committing to living at University is a good decision

  • Interestingly nearly 69% of students don’t intend travelling for a long time or at best maybe next year. Given students normal appetite for experiences and seeing the world perhaps COVID will see some reticence to do so for some time or possibly its a reflection of students being realistic about when they will be allowed to travel

  • Nearly 70% of students would consider or are keen to attend a festival as soon as possible. So whilst travel seems to be off the cards for a while there is an opportunity for UK based events to play hosts to lots of willing students when they are able to in a safe way

The overall temperature check shows that students are keen to get back to normality, head to University and make up for lost time with experiences and opportunities to have fun with friends and family. There is a big opportunity for institutions, accommodation providers and events to honestly communicate a confident approach to opening up post COVID and to help give confidence to students that they can begin getting back to some normality in a safe way.

For access to the full report, please Contact us and we will send it to you.

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