Save The Student has released the findings of their survey investigating the effects of COVID-19 on students. 

The survey has over 2,000 university respondents and illustrates how the pandemic has affected their lives. It also highlights student COVID statistics and university-to-student communication.

While the statistics do not directly relate to Bangor University in all cases, the results of the survey certainly paints a picture for the impact the pandemic has had on the UK’s students.

Note: statistics in this article are thanks to Save the Student. See their full report here: https://www.savethestudent.org/money/surveys/covid-19-student-survey-follow-up.html

Statistics and concerns

According to the Save The Student survey, 94% of students have been impacted by the pandemic in some way; be it financially, academically, or in terms of mental health.

In terms of finances, the survey found that almost 1 in 4 of students have had to sell possessions to survive financially; also, a quarter of students have lost a job or income as a result of the pandemic.

Jake Butler, Save the Student’s money expert, comments:

“Students are among the groups worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic

It’s clear from our stats that many have experienced job losses, lack of access to university facilities, accommodation issues, poor communication and so much more.

“The toll this has taken, and is still taking, on students’ mental health is really distressing to see.”

Poor communication and the issues mentioned here were also mentioned in our student survey relating to the upcoming plans to cut 200 jobs from the institution to save money

Mental health was the most mentioned issue throughout the survey, highlighting an essential need to address and improve mental health services for students.

Jake Butler also says:

“Without action from the government and universities in a number of key areas such as student accommodation, student funding and tuition fee refunds, we can expect students that have struggled through the first semester to face even more difficulties ahead.”

Our previous article on COVID-19 and the student experience describes some of the offerings Bangor University is making to its students to aid their mental health.

The survey also suggests that students are worried the most about their ‘studies, grades, or final degree mark’, ‘passing COVID to others’, ‘loneliness’ and ‘money’ over actually contracting the virus.

 

Source: Save the Student COVID survey, 2020. Link: https://www.savethestudent.org/money/surveys/covid-19-student-survey-follow-up.html)

Another of the most alarming statistics to come from the survey is that of COVID-19 rates among students. According to the poll, 29% of students either have had or know someone that has contracted COVID-19, and 42% have had to self-isolate in some way.

For Wales, First Minister Mark Drakeford mentioned that one of the reasons for Bangor’s hyper-local lockdown was “related specifically to the student population”.

On the brighter side of this statistic, 65% of students surveyed have downloaded the Track and Trace apps, suggesting vigilance and care is being taken to monitor the progression of the pandemic.

The survey also asked students when they expected teaching to return to ‘normal’, to which 53% answered ‘Next year (2021/2022)’. Should this be the case, more needs to be done to ensure student engagement, happiness, and wellbeing is addressed and cooperated with during the present and continuing through the future.

 

Source: Save the Student COVID survey, 2020. Link: https://www.savethestudent.org/money/surveys/covid-19-student-survey-follow-up.html)

Author’s Opinion:

 COVID-19 may be impacting many facets of life, including the UK’s economy in general, but it’s fair to say that students are among the most heavily impacted now. Academic efficiency is struggling – as is the delivery of content – and the question of tuition fees looms while the limited delivery of said content continues. Above all, now is a time to focus on the development of mental health support, ensuring students – especially those in Halls – are not alone, and establishing support networks for them throughout their studies is more than essential.

Bangor University has some good support services for mental health, and as mentioned in our article on the student experience, there are services available to help. We are all in this together and will overcome these rough times. 

 

 

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News Editor | 2020-21

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