Questions and answers about
the economy.

The global Covid-19 student survey

The global Covid-19 student survey aims to gauge university students’ reactions to the current Covid-19 pandemic and their expectations about the future, particularly as they enter the job market. The survey aims to document how students’ studies are currently affected, how their housing situation has changed, how their immediate future educational or job market plans have been affected, their understanding of the pandemic. We will also measure their preferences about risk, time, reciprocity, and trust using previously validated survey questions (Falk, et al. 2016). The survey will gather sufficient demographic information to document whether students’ situations and expectations differ by their socioeconomic status and family background. University education has been directly affected by social distancing measures, and the financial disruptions are likely to be substantially greater than those seen during the Great Recession. (see, for example, Long 2014). Students entering the job market this year will face challenges that far exceed those of a typical recession (Kahn 2010, Schwandt and von Wachter 2019). By fielding the same survey across the US and in different countries, we aim to understand in a comprehensive way how the pandemic has affected students and their chances of completing university. Because strategies to deal with the pandemic vary across universities and locales, students are expected to react in different ways. They are also likely to have different expectations regarding their future labor market activities. While previous research has examined students are affected by graduating into a recession, the magnitude of the economic downturn combined with potential health effects is unprecedented. By surveying students now and following up with them in 1 year, we hope to be able to shed light on which groups were most affected by the pandemic with an aim of addressing policies (both at the university and governmental levels) to mitigate the harm to entire cohorts of young people. The global nature of the pandemic calls for data collection that is as comparable as possible across locations.

Lead investigator:

David A. Jaegar


University of St Andrews

Primary topic:

Attitudes, media & governance

Secondary topic:

Jobs, work, pay & benefits

Region of data collection:


Status of data collection


Type of data being collected:

Online survey

Unit of real-time data collection