This year university students like everybody else have been through a great deal. However, due to the pandemic university students have been subjected to a lack of in-class teaching. The move to online work over this year has had many affects on the students, not just the learning but also students mental health and ability to perform their best.
Affects of online teaching: mental health
Many students have spent a lot of time in their accommodation this year, sat in online lectures in their room on their own. The amount of time spent alone has most definitely taken a toll on what already is the difficult task of university. Especially students who are away from home. Students have struggled to not see friends, family or teachers in person felt the strain of not being able to socialise as easily or get the university experience they expected.
Mental health is such a prime topic in current society and not just for students but for all areas and individuals. The mental health of many has been neglected through these many months as there was no time to prepare. It could also be argued that university students haven’t been given enough attention and has been treated differently for example, the incident in Manchester where ‘lockdown fences’ were placed around the students accommodations causing uproar among students due to their situation being so awful already.
The feeling of it being ”prison like” would’ve added to the increased low mental health of students. Therefore, students don’t only feel alone during this pandemic and confined mainly to their rooms but they also feel fenced in and like prisoners.
Phoebe – Bristol university student
”Being away from home is always hard enough without feeling trapped within your accommodation. This pandemic has affected my mental health because I feel as though I have barely left my room and I can’t socialise not even nearly as much; we students feel alone”.
Why should students pay for a full year of stress and disappointment?
Students across the country have voiced their opinions about how students should not have to pay the full amount of tuition fees this year due to the interruption of strikes and the COVID pandemic which has affected students education dramatically.
There has been a great amount of research showing how students work so much better in class, getting more attention and the help they need. Even-though there are many immersive classes online, they have had the time to be produced and well thought out. However, this pandemic was as much sprung on teachers as it was the students. This meant that the online resources and teaching wasn’t 100% and still isn’t. The pressures of this also affect the mental health on students because their 2nd and 3rd years at university are the ones that count. The thought of not doing their best could cause stress and uncertainty.
University is advertised as an experience not just education and this pandemic has affected all aspects of the experience. Many students managed to have this advertised experience last year when normal life was still everyday life. However, students who have transferred universities and moved into second year could face struggles to get to know the lecturers as well and build a rapport. They could also find it difficult to meet new students and use the facilities for their work as much as they would like. Therefore, it is always going to be a difficult situation but for students, it is more likely to feel as though they aren’t getting what they will be paying for.
The discussion of whether the students should have to pay the full tuition this year really comes down to whether the universities feel they have given the best learning opportunities. If the students aren’t receiving the full learning experience then many people argue that students should not have to pay the full tuition with the added strain of their mental health and financial struggles with decreased hours at part time jobs and job losses for students.