One price, two different university experiences

Students have officially been able to return to their campuses for in person teaching, but this has not come as good news to many struggling students, who have not set foot on campus all year.

Photo by Theo on

Many university students have been signing petitions to have money refunded for their lack of sufficient teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic. Some students on practical courses have been able to continue in person teaching, while others have been pushed aside and left to stare at their computer screens.

Covid-19 has caused different scenarios for different individuals, depending on what their course entails. If the course is more practical based, like midwifery or medicine, students have been able to attend in person sessions.

Mollie Hector

Mollie Hector, 19, is a midwifery student at Canterbury Christ Church University and has been attending in person and online teaching for around 12-18 hours a week.

This has been her first year at university and overall she has felt that it has been very “unorganised”. Mollie said: “My online learning has not had much relation to my hospital placement, and I feel it has been a waste of a year.”

Even though Mollie has not had the best experience with her teaching as a whole, she has been able to attend in person teaching. A complete opposite teaching style has been experienced by Georgia Williams from Medway, who is studying History and Politics at the University of Kent, Canterbury campus.

Georgia has never had any in person teaching and the communication she does have only consists of four hours a week over a Microsoft Teams video call. She then has to complete her own assignments and watch recorded video lectures, essentially teaching herself.

When asked about the support she received during her first year at university, Georgia said: “It’s so peculiar to me I have almost finished one year of university without stepping foot in it…I’ve had no contact from anyone and no enquiries about how my mental health is.”

Georgia Williams

These two experiences have not been great, with one lacking structure and the other barely having any teaching time. These courses are complete opposites and raises the question of how do they both cost £9,250 a year with the high amount of insufficient teaching?

Universities have been tasked with adapting to this online form of teaching and have also felt like they have been abandoned by the Government as primary and secondary schools have been open since the middle of April, but universities have only just been allowed to open.

“We share your frustration that we have not been able to welcome everyone back to our campuses sooner.”

University of Kent

Even though students are allowed to return back to in person teaching, this comes as little comfort to many. The Summer term usually only consists of exams and seminars and lectures are not as frequent as they were in previous terms. So even though students can return, the majority of their teaching has already ended.

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