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Concerns about students’ wellbeing are highlighted during exceptional circumstances

University of Applied Sciences Students in Finland (SAMOK) and local student unions conducted a survey on remote studying and students’ well-being during exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus. Student Union of Häme University of Applied Sciences HAMKO took part in conducting the survey by collecting answers from HAMK students.

According to the survey, as many as 47% of university of applied sciences students experience that their coping has gotten worse or much worse during exceptional corona situation. The decrease in motivation is also significant and was especially pronounced among students in the early stage of their studies. Coping has declined especially for those students who have experienced a significant decline in social relationships during an emergency.

HAMKO’s adviser Ville Lempola comments the results of the survey:

“The answers we received follow the national line quite closely. This spring’s exceptional conditions and arrangements in teaching have been reflected in the students’ well-being and motivation. We also had variations in the answers, e.g. depending on how much online studies students were used to doing even before the exceptional circumstances. Unfortunately, we had a rather low number of respondents to the survey.”

As the situation stabilizes, considerable efforts should be put into students’ motivation and coping to avoid longer-term effects on wellbeing. Universities and student health care need to pay attention to the scope and availability of student wellbeing services in the autumn when students are most likely to return to campuses.

Decision-makers need to ensure that the universities have adequate resources to provide support services for students. It is possible that there has been pent-up need for services during this spring. This will be reflected in student wellbeing services in the autumn.

President of HAMKO’s board Sakari Vitikka says that student wellbeing services have worked well at HAMK:

“At HAMK, student wellbeing services have been well available remotely this spring. For example, chat on HAMK’s website has been a good addition to the services. We hope that the availability of services will continue to be of the same quality in the autumn, when we will most probably be able to return to campuses. In addition, communication from HAMK to students has been good and comprehensive during this spring.”

More information:

Sakari Vitikka
President of the board / +358 44 722 1001

Ville Lempola
Adviser, quality of education and careers / +358 44 722 1007

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