Maynooth University survey shows 62% of students felt ‘optimistic’ a little, or a lot, less often than usual'

Over 1,000 students took part in Covid impact survey

Leinster Leader Reporter

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Maynooth University survey shows 62% of students  felt ‘optimistic’ a little, or a lot, less often than usual'

Maynooth University

The latest results from a survey of Maynooth University students in response to Covid 19 show '62% of students indicate that they felt ‘optimistic’ a little, or a lot, less often than usual in the 30 days preceding the survey.'

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.  

A statement by Maynooth Students Union said: "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."

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

The majority of students were positive about Support & Guidelines issued by the University.