In the space of just a few months, around the globe the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has radically transformed the lives of masses of people, including higher education students. Apart from the devastating health consequences for those directly affected by the virus, the COVID-19 pandemic holds major implications for the way higher education students live and work, affecting their physical and mental well-being in profound ways. To capture the immediate economic and social effects of this crisis, between 5 May and 15 June 2020 Faculty of Public Administration/University of Ljubljana (along with international partners) launched a large-scale online survey across the world (31,000+ students from six continents, 100+ countries and 150+ insituttions). Entitled Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Life of Higher Education Students, the online questionnaire is based on and extends “The European Students’ Union Survey (2020)” and asks higher education students – what has student life looked like during the COVID-19 pandemic, including teaching and learning, social contacts, as well as how they are coping with the situation emotionally in different parts of the world. The global comparative analysis helps us to formulate the most useful recommendations for policymakers and higher education institutions on how to support students in such crises in various environments; namely, economic, social, cultural, political and institutional.