One in three university students were unable to access online learning during the Covid-19 lockdown, according to new research which suggests that disabled students and those from poorer backgrounds were worst affected.

The survey, which was carried out in July by the National Union of Students (NUS), found that disruptions to studies arose from a lack of IT equipment and software, insufficient course materials, and poor internet connections.

Of the 4,178 respondents, 18% said they lacked the support necessary to deal with Covid-19, such as counselling or financial help. Disabled students and those with caring responsibilities were more likely to have not received this support. The survey called for more help with students’ mental health and wellbeing, as well as more targeted, personalised teaching.

Among the students who

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