In the spring of 2022, the Research Foundation for Studies and Education Otus carried out a study called ‘Tracking the Effects of Remote Teaching’, commissioned by the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL). The purpose of the study was to determine the extent of university students’ learning loss and skills gap due to pandemic-related special arrangements, and the effect of the exceptional circumstances on the students’ wellbeing, ability to study and transfer to working life. A total of 667 university students answered the survey.
The results clearly show that the special arrangements were taxing on the students, and the students’ current teamwork skills are lacking. The diversity of the student community is also reflected in the results, as the students have varying views on remote studies. Some feel that they have benefited from the flexibility of remote learning. However, majority of the students feel that their ability to study has deteriorated and that they have learnt less during the special arrangements.
71% of the respondents feel that the special arrangements have reduced their wellbeing significantly or to a certain degree, and 61% of the respondents feel that their ability to study has deteriorated for the same reason. A skills gap has developed particularly in connection with skills learnt in groups: the students feel that the level of their argumentation, presentation and interaction skills is lower than expected. Many of the respondents also consider the study community an important factor in maintaining the ability to study.
The exhaustion and uncertainty experienced by students are also reflected in how the students see their future in working life. 65% of the respondents are worried about whether they will have what it takes when they enter working life after graduation. Furthermore, 37% of the respondents are unsure whether their degree meets the needs of working life.
‘It’s extremely important that universities and decision-makers commit to mending the skills gaps and enhancing the students’ sense of community and wellbeing even more strongly’, concludes SYL’s president Konstantin Kouzmitchev.
The results of the study will be published in full in early autumn 2022 at syl.fi.
President, National Union of University Students in Finland
044 906 5007
Education Policy Adviser, National Union of University Students in Finland
041 515 2231