- The corona pandemic is a major challenge for students.
- Studydrive, a learning platform for students, has been asking users about their mood since mid-March. An analysis of 10,500 comments provides information about what is currently most bothering students.
- As the evaluation shows, many are concerned about the further financing of their studies because they have lost their part-time jobs or had to involuntarily exceed the standard period of study.
The summer semester has started – but this year everything is different. Instead of full lecture halls, crowded canteens and well-attended libraries, the motto is now: online lectures, learning materials via PDF download and tutorials via video conference.
The corona crisis not only poses a great challenge for universities, but also for students. Many are overwhelmed and worry about their professional future. Above all, they lack an essential thing: financial support. This is shown by an analysis of the Studydrive learning platform.
Since universities had to close in mid-March, the learning platform for students has asked their users about their mood. The analysis, for which 10,500 comments were evaluated on the platform, shows how the students are currently experiencing the crisis.
More than 50 percent are concerned with funding their studies
Due to the corona measures, many have lost their part-time jobs. This is noticeable in the evaluation: More than 50 percent of the students are concerned about the further financing of their studies. Exceeding the standard period of study also unsettles the students – because those who have to involuntarily extend their studies beyond the standard period of study lose their entitlement to a student loan.
The questions asked by the students on the platform also show that there are many ambiguities. “Are you currently finding internships? I am looking for one from 01.09. and have the feeling that due to Corona, virtually no company takes on interns, ”wrote a concerned master’s student in mathematics at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal on the platform. A sociology student from the University of Duisburg-Essen, on the other hand, asked whether a 40-hour job as a harvest helper could have an impact on her student status.
Kfw emergency loan for students available from May 8th
There are many protests and demands for immediate financial aid. The Berliner Studierendenwerk had announced one-time emergency aid in the amount of 500 euros. As the student representatives in Berlin announced, the fund was exhausted within a day – there were simply too many students in need and too little funds.
Federal Minister of Education Anja Karliczek recently announced that students can apply for an emergency loan from the state development bank KfW. The German press agency reported. The loan should especially help those who do not receive a student loan, have not received a scholarship or have lost their job.
From May 8, 2020, students can apply to KfW for an initially interest-free loan of up to EUR 650 per month. Current KfW student loans and new applications should remain interest-free for domestic students until the end of March 2021. Critics, however, warn that students could accumulate more debt this way.
A third are concerned about a lack of digital infrastructure
Many students also seem to be concerned about the digital design of the semester. According to the evaluation, the current situation in teaching with a lack of digital infrastructure concerns over a third of users. The comments are not only often about the lack of digital infrastructure, but also about the lack of digital skills among university staff.
Apparently, their own digital infrastructure is also a problem for some. A business student at the Euro-FH Hamburg said: “I think the forced modernization is great, but that doesn’t help me. I have a very unstable WLAN. ”At the same time, however, many students are optimistic. The crisis is also an opportunity for university teaching to move forward at a rapid pace in this area.