Which UK City Learned The Most During Lockdown

2020 saw the UK join a third of the world’s population in a lockdown due to Coronavirus. Lockdown was announced on the 23rd of March in an attempt to slow down the spread of the virus and resulted in 8.9 million workers being furloughed in the UK and a record number of people working from home. 

During the lockdown, a large number of people in the UK used this time to improve their skill set or find a new hobby. By looking at Google Search Trends data, we have measured the massive increase in searches for terms 

We used the data gathered to find out which UK city learnt the most during lockdown. 

Unsurprisingly, London is ranking high on the list, but it’s Birmingham taking the lead with a score of 287. London, Leeds and Manchester follow in second, third and fourth position. 

The value given is based on a higher proportion of all searches, instead of a higher search count. So a city with a smaller population where 80% of the searches were for “online courses” will get a higher score than a city with a larger population where only 40% of searches were for “online courses”. This explains how London, with a much higher population, isn’t automatically in the lead. 

What Are People Searching For

There has been a wide range of search terms used throughout the UK with several cities leading the scores for individual terms. Birmingham, not only taking the lead for all relevant search terms also ranked the highest for searches for free online courses. With so many people in the UK working from home or furloughed, it is unsurprising that so many are using this time to study a range of online courses. 

It is encouraging to see so many people wanting to improve their skills for work, such as a large number of people in Sheffield who searched for professional development, and plenty of people in Ilford searching for online courses to take part in to help them adjust to the new situation or just fill their time with something new and exciting. 

A large amount of learning-related searches has focused on online learning with Southampton leading the search for online learning training and resources. Teachers around the UK have also had to adapt quickly to the changing in teaching and learning styles and have dedicated time and resources into improving their understanding of online learning and teaching. 

Searches for The Open University have increased by 130% across the UK, with Bletchley leading the country in searches. The Open University is the world’s leading pioneer in distance learning, so it is no surprise that so many people are making use of its services during the lockdown.

The Impact Of Lockdown

As the graph below shows, when the UK’s national lockdown was announced on the 23rd of March there was a huge jump in searches for online courses. This trend is echoed throughout all of the search terms we looked at with searches doubling overnight in some cases. 

Clearly, the lockdown was encouraging us to search for ways to learn new skills or develop existing ones. Of course, the sad reality is that some of these searches may have been out of desperation rather than filling the time, as a record number of Brits have found themselves out of a job during this pandemic. 

There is always an abundance of online learning resources available for you to learn a new skill, develop existing ones or pursue something that you find fun or interesting. While the lockdown has given thousands of Brits the opportunity and free time to pursue these online courses and learning resources, it is important to remember that these options are always available to those who want to make use of them. 

Here at Andrew Chell, we are passionate about learning and as Loughborough’s premier student housing provider, we strive to provide an excellent environment for students to live and learn in during their time at Loughborough University. For more information on our range of student accommodation, take a look at the houses we have available here.

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