International students’ learning activities all over the world seriously disturbed by COVID-19
A recent research led by Padmore Adusei Amoah finds that nearly 90 per cent of respondents (international/non-local higher education students) said the COVID-19 outbreak had caused “moderate to extreme” disruption to learning activities, and over 70 per cent expressed concern about the outbreak, while 45 per cent said they were feeling lonely.
Between 12 April and 1 May 2020, the research team received valid responses from 583 international/non-local higher education students from 26 countries/regions in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. About half of the respondents (46%) were research postgraduate students. At the time of the survey, most of them (61%) were still in their country/region of study.
Over 70 per cent of respondents said they got COVID-19 information from social media and new media, and 14 per cent did not know how to seek help in their study countries/regions if they were to develop COVID-19 symptoms.
Despite their worries about the pandemic and the loneliness it was causing, the majority of the students (83.8%) were keen to return to their current institutions to continue their studies.
The research team advises higher education institutions to find creative and effective ways of supporting international students during this challenging time, including the use of mobile instant messaging platforms or tailor-made mobile apps to maintain contact with students and provide healthcare information.