The World University Summer Games were scheduled to take place in 2021, however, were postponed to 2022 due to the coronavirus. The pandemic continues on and UK Athletics announced Friday, January 14th that they will not be sending teams to compete.

The World University Games Team is staffed and operated by the home countries in conjunction with BUCS and UK Athletics (UKA). UKA work closely with all of the home countries and major University stakeholders for athletics and feel that due to the vastly increased costs to the athletes (athletes predominantly self-fund these championships and current estimates are over £6000 per athlete) and the logistically difficult transportation issues, combined with all of the recent Covid related issues it is prudent to not attend this year but to start planning for the next Games in Russia in 2023.

The Universiade is the largest multi-sport event next to the Olympic Games. The most recent games were held in 2019 in Naples, Italy. There is also a winter version. The 2021 Winter Universiade was rescheduled to take place in Lucerne, Switzerland in December 2021, but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 Summer World University Games were scheduled to be held in Chengdu, China.

Twenty of the 33 editions have taken place in Europe, three in North America, and five times in Italy alone. The three North American dates were in Canada, the US, and Mexico in 1983, 1993, and 1979, respectively. The only time the Games have been in Great Britain was in 1991. From 1923 to 1962, 24 similar competitions were held before the World University Games were formally established.

It is likely that several more countries will drop out of the next Games.