Student and staff having a harder time than last year

Almost half the students and one in three staff members at the UG are suffering greatly or even severely due to the corona crisis. The numbers are higher than last year, when 40 percent of students and a quarter of staff members said the same.

These are the results of a survey that research agency Newcom conducted for UKrant. The first survey was conducted in June last year. UG staff and students had been feeling the effects of the corona crisis, both mentally and physically. The second and third waves have only exacerbated this.

Students list the lack of interaction in class (57 percent) and little to no informal contact with their peers (56 percent) as the greatest downsides to their studies over the past year. They also complain about not feeling like they’re part of a group (44 percent), classes being less in-depth (29 percent), and the fear of study delays (also 29 percent).

Studying from home gets the same failing grade as last year: a 4.8. More than 40 percent of students say they study less than before the crisis. Last year, five out of ten students said so.

Working from home

Two out of three UG employees work almost completely from home, and three out of ten do not care for it at all. Almost half the employees would like to continue working from home for one or two days after the pandemic is over, and nearly 20 percent would like to continue to do so as much as possible. They mainly cite being in charge of their own schedule, spending time with their family, and a shorter commute as the reasons behind this.

They do think online education needs improvement; just 10 percent says the quality of online education has improved over the past year.

Online education

Six out of ten students would like classes to go back to the way they were before the pandemic. Nevertheless, nearly four out of ten students assume that online education is here to stay. Nearly 20 percent expects everything to go back to the way it was by summer next year.

A majority of staff (60 percent) thinks the pandemic has had a lasting impact on education and that we can’t return to ‘normal’. Almost half thinks that at-home education and online classes complement on-campus classes, while 48 percent want higher education to go back to how it was before the crisis.

This survey was conducted not only at the UG but also at the University of Twenty, Eindhoven University of Technology, the University of Utrecht, the Utrecht School of Applied Science, the University of Amsterdam, and Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Tilburg. A benchmark was based on the answers from these institutes. On the charts, the UG’s answers are in blue, with the benchmark in green.

This survey is an indication and not a representative sample.

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