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Students want a green recovery

We asked students in further and higher education their views on climate change and the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic�

In June 2020, we carried out research with students in further and higher education to find out their priorities for the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.  Responding to an online survey, just over 1000 students told us they identify climate change as serious a risk as COVID-19 and support prioritisation of climate change in the economic recover after the pandemic.

To understand how students' views compare to the UK population more generally, our research replicated questions asked in two national surveys - the Energy and Climate Change Public Attitudes tracker carried out by the UK government (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) and research conducted by Ipsos Mori focused on climate change and coronavirus.  

Respondents to our research told us:

  • 88% say they are fairly or very concerned about climate change
  • 76% agree that climate change is as serious a crisis as COVID-19 in the long term
  • 51% disagree that the government should focus on economic recovery first and foremost, even if it means taking actions that are bad for the environment
  • 68% agree that it�s important for the government to prioritise climate change in the recovery after coronavirus but�
  • 31% agree that economic recovery should be prioritised even if it leads to negative environmental impacts.

When comparing these findings to the national research we found:

  • 76% of respondents in higher and further education in the UK see climate change as serious an issue as COVID-19, this compares to 66% of the GB general population
  • 31% of respondents think economic recovery should be prioritised, even if some actions are detrimental to the environment, this compares to 46% of the GB general population
  • 68% of respondents in higher and further education think government actions in the post-COVID-19 economic recover should prioritise climate change, compared with 58% of the GB population overall
  • 76% of people across the UK (research carried out in March 2020) said they were very or fairly concerned about climate change, compared to 88% of respondents in higher and further education who hold this sentiment.

Download our report to read the full research findings.