Learning the New Way…at Uni

Wondering what your university experience will look like in September? Whilst it may vary across universities and countries, one thing for sure is that the new academic year will certainly be…well…different.

The Covid-19 outbreak has changed the way that universities function – a trend that may continue once the pandemic is over. We are all used to an environment where students meet on campus, gather for lectures, socialise in the union and make new friends.

With many lectures taking place online, seminars being held under social distancing measures and societies and social events going virtual – universities, more than ever, are exploring new ways to ensure that students stay safe, but also gain the maximum experience from their time at university.

It is being mooted that students could be asked to come in for a day in smaller assigned groups to minimise movement around campus, and to reduce the number of social interactions. What’s more, a greater use of outdoor spaces for classes and extracurricular activities are also among the ideas being considered by some universities.

The concern over socialising extends past online lectures. Those arriving at university for the first time could be faced with virtual Freshers’ Week events and one-way systems across campus in a bid to prevent Covid-19 transmission. Maybe we’ll see the rise of online parties or Freshers’ Week being move to later in the year or even next year! Either way, universities are working hard to ensure students have social interaction with one another, irrespective of what the social distancing arrangements are at the time.

Whilst this will undoubtedly be ‘all change’ for everyone, knowing what to expect will certainly help ease fears around what could, at first, be an unsettling experience.

Remember:

  • Have your mask and sanitiser with you at all times – and ensure you maintain social distancing
  • Embrace blended learning – a combination of online and in-person classes so that you get the maximum benefit of learning and physical engagement. You may also be taught in protective bubbles to reduce any transmission of Covid-19
  • Check in with your student union to find out what clubs and societies are still happening – as well as use the on-campus support services (if needed) – offering everything from advice on finances to online advice and counselling services

We are all in this together and we’ll all find a way through it – so good luck and embrace your ‘new normal’ term.