Statement: Contact teaching of universities of applied sciences must be opened up to everyone equally
3.6.2021 | Wellness
The Students of Business and Technology are worried about the universities of applied sciences’ intention to continue distance learning in autumn. BBA students across the country have been in distance learning for over a year now and their mental wellbeing and study motivation have been tested. As the vaccination numbers climb, the safe execution of contact teaching becomes possible also for students in degrees whose learning and progress of studies have not required contact teaching.
- In the field of BBA studies, the realization of teaching and the progress of studies have been possible remotely as they do not require any practical training for example in a laboratory environment, says the Student of Business and Technology’s board member Eppu Åberg - If contact learning is made possible only for students in degrees which need it, we are worried about its effect to BBA students’ already weakened ability to study and transition to working life, Åberg continues.
The well-being of BBA students has deteriorated significantly during the pandemic, as shown by several studies. For example, according to a distance learning survey conducted by the Finnish Association of Student Unions - SAMOK ry, 60% of the respondents felt that their coping and mental health had deteriorated during the pandemic. Loneliness has been experienced especially by first-year students who, for example, have not had time to form social networks in new places of study.
- For many students practicality is a key reason to apply for a university of applied sciences and is best promoted by gaining work experience, networking and social skills, says Jere Liitiäinen, Chairperson of the Board - Distance learning nicely enables the study of theoretical subjects, but the practicality aspects are not fulfilled through it, continues board member Åberg.
The exceptional situation has also required universities to adapt and make rapid development steps in terms of implementing their studies, for which the Students of Business and Technology give full recognition for the UAS-sector. However, as the pandemic situation fluctuates from time to time, universities of applied sciences have sought to provide safe contact teaching in a flexible way in areas where studies require it. Preparations for the upcoming autumn semester are still partly uncertain, but students in all degrees must be considered equally when making these plans.
- The future regarding the pandemic has begun to look brighter. Higher education institutions must take students from different degrees into account equally in post-pandemic strategies, insists chairperson Liitiäinen - BBA students need contact teaching and opportunities to network in the same way as other students of universities of applied sciences, says chairperson Liitiäinen.
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