What’s it like working or studying at HAS University of Applied Sciences during corona? To gain insight into this issue, in May we asked staff and students to complete a questionnaire. We will use the results to further improve the support we’re offering to both groups. This support covers the attention we’re giving to safeguarding everyone's wellbeing and a number of practical matters. The overall response rate has been good, with 70% of the staff taking part and 19% of the students.
Liz Chermin, member of the Board of Governors at HAS University of Applied Sciences: “The questionnaire is helping us learn from the steps we have taken during recent months and to make the right choices for the future. During the first period after the corona outbreak, we transferred our education to online incredible quickly. We didn't have any time at all to think about what would and would not fit with the students’ perceptions. Luckily, this is no longer an issue and so, we’re able to adjust what we’re doing better.”
The questionnaire revealed a general picture that the transition from physical to online education has gone well. There is considerable appreciation for the way in which everyone has worked to make the change possible and the attention that has been paid to their well-being and personal situation. Practical matters were arranged correctly and quickly. Liz: “We have worked really hard to implement the changes needed and this is reflected in the results of the questionnaire. This is a big compliment for all our employees.”
Missing each other
Students are satisfied with the online teaching materials, the information provided by HAS University of Applied Sciences and the way in which lecturers are supervising them. Most of have found a new rhythm. Although they are finding it hard to stay motivated, they’re missing each other and the HAS environment. At least half of them say they need more contact. And half of them also say their sense of wellbeing is lower than before the corona crisis, that they’re experiencing more stress and are afraid of falling behind with their studies. We’re working to alleviate these concerns through 1-to-1 contact and by looking for individual solutions.
The majority of the members of staff feel they’ve received the proper facilities to work remotely. The main thing they need is support with online teaching methods. However, over half of them are experiencing more stress compared to before corona. The biggest challenge that a third of the members of staff are struggling with, is finding the boundary between their work and private life. Despite this, the majority of the members of staff are able to relax enough alongside their work, are remaining active and motivated, and experience sufficient autonomy in their work. And, like the students, members of staff also want to physically see each other again.
Liz says the results of the questionnaire mainly confirm that good education is not really possible without actual contact. “And that’s obvious. As a university of applied sciences, we play a major role in the personal development of our students. This is called ‘Bildung’: it covers the whole process of becoming an adult and learning to relate to your surroundings. With an open and critical mind, and a great ability to reflect. This is a process that cannot be covered in online lectures, exams and practical tests alone, but for which students and lecturers really need to be able to see each other in person. We will be putting a lot of effort into realising these meetings during the coming months, within the 1.5 metre protocol, of course.”