The COVID-19 International Student Well-being Study

Sarah van de Velde*, Veerle Buffel, Piet Bracke, Guido van Hal, Nikolett Somogyi, Barbara Willems, Edwin Wouters

*Corresponding author for this work

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


As a large international consortium of 26 countries and 110 higher-education institutions (HEIs), we successfully developed and executed an online student survey during or directly after the initial peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 International Student Well-being Study (C19 ISWS) is a cross-sectional multicountry study that collected data on higher-education students during the COVID-19 outbreak in the spring of 2020. The dataset allows description of: (1) living conditions, financial conditions, and academic workload before and during the COVID-19 outbreak; (2) the current level of mental well-being and effects on healthy lifestyles; (3) perceived stressors; (4) resources (e.g., social support and economic capital); (5) knowledge related to COVID-19; and (6) attitudes toward COVID-19 measures implemented by the government and relevant HEI. The dataset additionally includes information about COVID-19 measures taken by the government and HEI that were in place during the period of data collection. The collected data provide a comprehensive and comparative dataset on student well-being. In this article, we present the rationale for this study, the development and content of the survey, the methodology of data collection and sampling, and the limitations of the study. In addition, we highlight the opportunities that the dataset provides for advancing social science research on student well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic in varying policy contexts. Thus far, this is, to our knowledge, the first cross-country student well-being survey during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a unique dataset that enables high-priority socially relevant research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114 - 122
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
Early online date7 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502027 Political economy

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