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College students feeling nervous about return to education

A survey carried out by SPIN showed that students are struggling with the levels of COVID uncertainty in the future


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in news


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Youth Radio Station SPIN have carried out a survey of over 1,000 students in Ireland to gain an understanding about how they feel about returning to education over the next number of months.

Sense of uncertainty

The survey was filled out by 413 Leaving Cert students (who were due to sit their Leaving Cert in 2020) and 714 college or university students in Ireland.

Both groups said that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their mental health (over 50% in each category). Other issues included a lack of Government support, and a sense of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the future.

Speaking about the survey, Keith McCormack, Music & Entertainment CEO said “COVID-19 has turned the world upside down and its immediate effects are rightly getting our attention and focus. It is also important to understand the short to medium term effects this pandemic is having on society, and in particular the youth sector.”

Survey results

Here are some of the highlights from the survey:

Leaving Cert students

Among Leaving Cert students due to sit their exams in 2020, concerns included their Leaving Cert results, mental health, and going to college.

Leaving Cert results

  • 55% of students have expressed concern about their exam results
  • Unfair results, teacher bias and delays were concerns expressed repeatedly

Going to college

  • 97% of all students are still hoping to continue their education
  • Students are more concerned than excited about going to university
  • Only 21% of students have expressed any level of excitement around going to college with reasons including ‘a new experience or fresh start’, ‘studying something I enjoy’ and ‘moving out of home’
  • 17% of students are reconsidering their college choice on the back of COVID-19

Mental health

  • Students feel COVID-19 has had a negative effect on their mental health
  • 54% said that COVID-19 has had a negative impact

Government support

  • Students feel the government/Department of Education could have done more
  • 64% of respondents say the Government/Department of Education has done little or nothing to support them

College students

Third level students surveyed are expecting college life to be very different when they return, especially when it comes to doing more classes from home, finding it harder to socialise, and finding it harder to access teachers or lecturers.

Returning to college

  • Some students are concerned about returning to university/college
  • 42% of students have indicated levels of concern
  • 59% found the process of studying for and sitting exams online challenging last semester

Mental health

  • 58% expressed that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their mental health

Government support

  • College and University Students clearly do not feel the Government is doing enough to support them, with 79% of respondents saying the Government has done very little or nothing to support them

Write for SpunOut.ie

How do you feel about college during COVID-19? SpunOut.ie and the Union of Students in Ireland are looking for your stories, thoughts, and opinions on retuning to college during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more about this content call out here.

Feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or want to talk to someone right now?

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Published August 13th2020
Last updated Sep­tem­ber 18th2020
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.
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