Equity and inclusion during COVID-19

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many students returned home. However, first-generation students, Pell Grant recipients, and underrepresented students were less likely to have both adequate access to the internet and appropriate study space, making remote instruction a greater challenge for them when compared to their peers.

Results from the UC Undergraduate Experience Survey (UCUES) presented a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on diverse student populations. Insights found from the survey included:

  • Sixty-four percent of responding undergraduates had high confidence (somewhat to very high) about using tools for remote learning, while first-generation, African American, and Hispanic/Latinx students reported slightly less confidence.
  • First-generation students from underrepresented populations were more likely to lack appropriate equipment and study spaces and to have greater family responsibilities due to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Thirty-five percent of all responding undergraduates were very concerned about having access to an appropriate study space, compared to 45 percent of first-generation students, Pell Grant recipients, and underrepresented students.

UC campuses attempted to assess and meet the technology needs of students by providing them with laptops and internet hotspots. For example, UC Berkeley conducted a student technology survey to estimate the funds needed to purchase laptops in its Student Technology Equity Program (STEP). Other UC campuses used a range of outreach efforts — communications with deans and department chairs, student service and advising units, and prompts on campus learning management systems — to identify students who needed technology support.

Equity & Inclusion During COVID-19: Guidance

This guidance was prepared by the Council of Chief Diversity Officers at UC to assist campus decision makers, faculty, administrators, students and staff on providing supportive, positive and inclusive campus climates during the COVID-19 crisis.

View UC's COVID-19 document [PDF]

COVID-19 Updates from UC

UC is vigilantly monitoring and responding to new information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Get the latest UC COVID-19 News