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Survey finds students are still excited about Freshers' Week despite COVID-19

Students are most looking forward to making new friends at university this year, despite the traditional Freshers' Week experience being impacted by COVID-19.

According to a new study conducted by Cheltenham-based insurance firm Endsleigh, meeting new people was the thing students were most looking forward to about their university experience (34 per cent), closely followed by preparing for their future career (32 per cent) and learning new skills (18 per cent).

As universities prepare to move teaching and Freshers' events online as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many students are feeling apprehensive about how this will compare to previous years.

Of the 201 students polled, 41 per cent felt negatively about Freshers' events taking place online and 71 per cent felt that this year's Freshers' Week experience will be worse than previous years.

However, with recent UCAS data showing that fewer students have deferred than expected - with a slight 1.2 per cent increase in year-on-year confirmations for an immediate university start in Autumn 2020 - this suggests students are still keen to start their education and see this as an opportunity to engage with new people.

Survey findings from Endsleigh found that despite concerns that COVID-19 would impact the Freshers' Week experience, friendships are still a key influence in students' understanding of Freshers' and their excitement to start university life.

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