The Student Union of the University of Turku (TYY), in cooperation with the University's management and Wellbeing Services, conducted a survey to find out how the corona time has affected the student's daily life, ability to study and wellbeing. 1201 students took part in the survey. Responses were received from all Faculties, and both undergraduate and graduate students responded to the survey. International students also responded to the survey.
The changes brought about by the corona situation affected study motivation and the ability to concentrate
Based on the survey, more than 50% of the respondents felt that the corona situation had a harmful effect on their general ability to study. The corona situation was most negatively affected by the study environment, as almost 70% felt that the corona situation had a harmful effect on their study environment. More than 60% of respondents experienced that study motivation, study routines, and ability to concentrate deteriorated during the exceptional circumstances caused by corona situation.
At the same time, more than half of the students who responded to the survey found the alternative study methods to be successful and had been able to advance their studies either as planned or better than planned, even during the exceptional circumstances. However, almost half of the respondents experienced a deterioration in the quality of teaching and the quality of performance due to the corona situation.
Concern about summer studies and livelihood
Almost half of the students who responded to the survey plan to complete summer studies. One-third of those completing summer studies felt that there were not enough summer study opportunities available. 30% were worried about livelihood during the summer.
Students' assessment of their own well-being has decreased during the corona period
Respondents were asked to rate their own wellbeing on a scale of 1 to 10 (one being the worst grade) for both the pre-corona and corona situations. Prior to the corona situation, respondents estimated their well-being at an average of 7.33 and for the corona situation at 6.41. Before the corona situation, about 15% of the respondents assessed their wellbeing on a scale of 1 to 5. During the corona situation, the number of students who gave a grade of 1–5 to their wellbeing doubled to about 30 per cent.
Distance from the study community was the biggest harmful factor to wellbeing after the uncertainty of the development of the corona situation. Studying at home clearly had an impact on the wellbeing of the students and the topics of facilities and students will be raised in the autumn when discussing with the University.
The wellbeing of international students declined more radically than others
International students were also asked to rate their wellbeing on a scale of 1 to 10 (with one being the worst grade). 12.5% of the international students who responded to the survey rated their wellbeing on a scale of 1 to 5 before the corona situation. After the corona situation, almost 60% of the respondents estimated their wellbeing on a scale of 1 to 5. According to the survey, the wellbeing of international students has fallen alarmingly.
Almost half of the international students who responded to the survey felt that their studies had progressed worse than planned. 37.5% of respondents were worried or very worried about their livelihood in the summer. 29.17% of those answering in English would have liked more support in mental health matters.
The survey was completed in English by 48 students. In general, the answers showed similar results as the results of the respondents to the survey in Finnish.
TYY wants to minimise the negative effects of the exceptional circumstances
The corona situation is likely to affect study and student life in the semester 2020-2021 as well. With the help of the answers to the survey, TYY does advocacy work to minimise the negative effects. It is important that students are guaranteed adequate tools, facilities and support even in an emergency.
TYY will process the answers to the survey and present the results to the University management and administration next week. Faculties are also communicated about the results on a faculty-by-faculty basis.
During the summer, we will discuss various aspects of the survey and communicate the results of the survey more through on our communication channels.
Thanks to all the respondents! Experience gift cards were drawn among those who responded to the survey and left their contact information. The winners will be contacted in person. Contact details and responses have been separately processed and cannot be linked.