COVID-19 Survey Results

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MSU COVID-19 Survey Results 

Download the COVID-19 Survey Report Document (PDF)

2020 saw the third implementation of a revised and structured survey instrument prepared by Maynooth Students’ Union. Over 1,000 students from across the population participated in this survey, contributing to a valuable data set on how students engage with their Students’ Union, their University and with their studies and welfare.  

The results of the main survey are currently being analysed and will form a robust statistical evidence base for making decisions on how to best prioritise resources to have the most positive impact on the student body. 

In 2020, COVID-19 has brought an unexpected and significant change to life in Ireland and also the student experience. In light of the current pandemic situation, we took the opportunity to question students about their experiences since the University moved to online learning in March. We wish to share the results of this section in advance of the main release. 

The results of this survey will give a snapshot in time of how Maynooth students were coping with the pandemic and the effect it was having on their teaching and learning. MSU will share the results and individual comments with the University in order to enhance learning from what has happened and aid in future planning. 

Key Findings: 

Key findings from each of the questions of the impacts of COVID-19 questions are presented below.

Majority of students indicate a decline in well-being during the pandemic: 

73% of students indicate that they felt ‘Nervous’ a little, or a lot, more often than usual in the 30 days preceding the survey.  

61% of students indicate that they felt ‘Hopeless’ a little, or a lot, more often than usual in the 30 days preceding the survey.  

78% of students indicate that they felt ‘That everything was an effort’ a little, or a lot, more often than usual in the 30 days preceding the survey.  

62% of students indicate that they felt ‘Optimistic’ a little, or a lot, less often than usual in the 30 days preceding the survey.  

These figures underline the mental and physical stresses that students were under at a time when many were preparing for important examinations. It also emphasises the importance of the availability of support services to students both on and off-campus. 

Reduced access to technology is a factor: 

14% of students report that they have either reduced access or no access, to a computer or laptop than before the pandemic struck.  

24% of students report that they have either reduced access or no access, to software that supports their study than before the pandemic struck. 

22% of students report that they have either reduced access or no access, to assistive technology that supports their study than before the pandemic struck. 

Considering that all Teaching and Learning moved to the online environment these students were at a disadvantage compared to the majority of their fellow students, particularly students who may need to make use of assistive technology. 

Reduced access to Broadband is a factor: 

30% of students report that they have either reduced access, or no access, to broadband than before the pandemic struck.  

Online Teaching and Learning requires consistent internet access to be at its most effective. Live video lectures or calls also make use of video which places further emphasis on a stable internet connection. Students without reliable internet will have a reduced experience. 

Lack of campus access impacted on study: 

26% of students report that they have either reduced access or no access, to laboratory equipment than before the pandemic struck.  

37% of students report that they have either reduced access or no access, to archives/special collections than before the pandemic struck.  

37% of students report that they have either reduced access or no access, to research participants or focus groups than before the pandemic struck.  

While the move to online Teaching & Learning made allowances for restrictions to laboratory work or library access, many students would have relied on these methods for their pre-existing research. 

Majority of students positive about Support & Guidelines issued by the University: 

70% of students agree that the University “provided clear guidelines on how they will support me to manage any changes in my ability to study”.  

72% of students agree that the University “provided support and / or advice to help me continue my studies remotely”. 

67% of students agree that the University “provided an option to extend the deadline/end date for my exams/hand-ups”.  

53% of students agree that the University “done all I believe they can / should do to support me at this time”. 

While it is encouraging to see that the majority of students were positive about the efforts of the University in response to the pandemic, there was still a sizeable number who had a negative experience. MSU will raise the survey findings and individual comments with the University to allow for learning, development and improvement.

Maynooth Students' Union wishes to thank the participants for their co-operation in agreeing to take part in the Annual MSU Student Survey and Maynooth University for facilitating the collection of the relevant data. The full results and report from the entire Annual Survey will be released later this Summer.

If you have any questions about this survey please contact eddie.corr@msu.ie

Methodology

This survey collected complete and viable data from 1,007 Maynooth students across all faculty and year levels with 968 answering the optional COVID-19 related questions. The sample size of 968 out of a population of ~12500 gives a maximum margin of error of ~3% with a confidence level of ~95%. Students were invited to participate in the survey through an email sent out to all students by Maynooth University. Data collection took place from May 14, 2020, to May 28, 2020.

 

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