Many students would like to go back to university as soon as possible.
An Opinium survey on 500 students and 500 parents from the UK found that nine in 10 are keen to return to university. Nevertheless, they are worried about how COVID-19 would impact their studies and social lives.
Universities across the UK, the US, Canada, Australia are currently setting “new normal” procedures in place. They include health and safety training and safeguards, as well as more refined virtual and hybrid learning options.
Several universities plan to welcome students back on campus in September.
If you’ve been studying online for the past few months, you may have questions or reservations about returning. Here are three ways you can ease your transition back to a brick-and-mortar campus.
Know your university’s gameplan
“The high levels of trust in how universities are responding to the crisis is impressive. As a sector, we must continue implementing the right measures to protect students and staff, so that this goodwill is not squandered,” said Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute.
These measures are sure to include new rules on campus. What facilities can you access? What are the new opening hours? How many students are allowed in a lecture hall?
You will be more confident to go back to university once you have a clear idea of what to expect. Additionally, you can reach out to the school with any queries not communicated through regular channels.
Use new virtual tools
Writing in The Guardian, Universities UK president Julia Buckingham states “positive feedback” from students across the country in adapting to online learning.
She said, “This includes students on virtual field trips, such as those from Bangor University and Imperial College, innovative online Shakespeare productions from determined students at the University of Northampton, and the medical students diagnosing virtual patients at virtual clinics at St. George’s, University of London.”
Your university would also have introduced a number of programmes and tools to aid online learning during COVID-19 closures. Don’t be afraid to embrace them, integrating as necessary into your hybrid learning model.
Engage campus community
One of the biggest draws to campus life is its social life. While it is wise to maintain small gatherings in line with health guidelines, you should also take the opportunity to engage with peers, especially in class.
Being back on campus means every student can unleash fresh ideas in vibrant discussions and ask lecturers pertinent questions in person. Seize this opportunity to listen and be heard — it will enrich your learning and make you excited for university again.
As Professor Buckingham said, “We are doing all we can to ensure that students feel part of a community of learners in which they can share ideas, make connections, build networks and make lifelong friends. We know that this has not been easy in recent months, but our students have already been using their social media skills to keep in touch with classmates and find study partners.”