Universities UK launches campaign to boost confidence among university students

A young man smiling straight at the camera with the text '2020MADEUS want to prove ourselves' overlayed on the image

​Students awaiting their exam results this August are being urged not to let the coronavirus pandemic stop them from pushing forward with their lives, in a new campaign, #2020MADEUS, launched today by UUK.

#2020MADEUS, a student-facing campaign, aims to give this year’s school leavers a message of confidence and hope as they continue with their plans to start university courses this autumn.

The campaign recognises the difficult few months students have experienced while celebrating their resilience, potential and determination to achieve success in their future goals.

A degree from a UK university continues to give a significant boost to employment prospects and, on average, graduates are likely to earn £9,000 more a year than those not going to university.

Research indicates, however, that 84% of students and recent graduates agree that future salary is not the only factor in choosing their degree. Interest in their subject and learning, broadening their life experience, gaining independence and developing wider skills like teamwork and time management are also considered to be important.

Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Professor Julia Buckingham, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of Brunel University London, said:

“While the world has changed dramatically, student ambitions have not. We are pleased to see an increase in applications but recognise there are students with decisions to make who may be feeling uncertain.

“Students can be confident that they will find their time at university positive and rewarding. Universities are drawing on their specialist expertise to provide a safe university experience offering high-quality teaching, a broad range of social activities, and well-being support. A university experience gives students the knowledge, skills and contacts to pursue their ambitions and puts graduates in a strong position as the economy recovers.”

Emma Dorricott, a student at University of Sheffield starting a Masters in cultural and creative industries management in the autumn, said:

“Although it might be difficult to imagine, there are plenty of things for prospective students to look forward to in the autumn. I know that clubs and societies will be doing their utmost to ensure that students feel welcomed and involved from the get-go. Lecturers and seminar tutors will be assisting through face to face teaching and online learning where needed.

“It might not be the first semester you were expecting, but it will be a unique experience that you and many others will be going through, university really is an incredible experience.”

UUK is collaborating with Education Cubed Ltd, a leading digital marketing agency specialising in the higher education sector, to deliver #2020MADEUS which will include advertising and content on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

“As a company, we deeply believe in UUK’s values and what it hopes to achieve through #2020MADEUS. We are really excited to be able to deliver a campaign which recognises the incredibly difficult year applicants have had, and celebrates how they’ve come through it all, with the confidence to take that next step,” says Jo Redfern, Managing Director of Education Cubed Ltd.

“Through their campaign, which will run throughout August and September, UUK aims to highlight the great work universities are doing to ensure they are ready to welcome students in person, while also putting essential safety measures in place to reassure students and parents that they will be able to live and study successfully at university this year, in spite of the restrictions the pandemic has created.”



  1. Universities UK’s campaign page - #2020MADEUS is now live at https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/2020madeus

  2. Advertising content and digital assets are available to download here.

  3. Universities UK is the collective voice of 137 universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Its mission is to create the conditions for UK universities to be the best in the world; maximising their positive impact locally, nationally and globally. Universities UK acts on behalf of universities, represented by their heads of institution.

Our team

Steven Jefferies

Steven Jefferies

Head of Media
Universities UK

Eloise Phillips

Eloise Phillips

Media Officer
Universities UK

Clara Plackett

Clara Plackett

Senior Media Officer
Universities UK


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