So A-Level pupils are getting a safety net – where is the support for uni students?

What’s clear is that we are at the bottom of the list when it comes to support

Last week, the government announced its plans to reveal some topics that will appear on A-Level exam papers and to provide pupils with a safety net to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. While I’m thrilled to see the government is FINALLY taking some responsibility for the mess it’s created in the education system, I’m a little confused as to why there has been no mention of uni students. Does our education not matter? Of course it does. We deserve a safety net too.

What’s clear is that we are at the bottom of the list when it comes to support

I understand that exams are being marked more generously to combat Covid’s negative impact on learning, but one of the most impacted groups has always been uni students and we should be given that extra support too.

Students who have experienced university during the pandemic years will be well aware of how much of a shit-show it’s all been. And what’s clear is that we are at the bottom of the list when it comes to support.

It felt like uni students just had to crack on with it

As someone who started in 2019, my learning has been negatively-impacted since I began my degree. Teaching was cancelled due to strikes, which wasn’t the most settling start to my university experience.

Then came Covid-19, bringing with it the temporary end of face-to-face teaching. Degrees were moved online overnight and poor academic resources were put on blackboard. This seemed like nothing more than a token gesture.

And unsurprisingly this had damaging effects on students’ mental health. I feel like this is something the government didn’t prioritise. They failed to take any action to do something tangible to help.

Uni students were basically told to crack on with it all, while still producing work to a very high standard. This was emotionally draining.

As someone who went through this, I can’t tell you how much I didn’t want to complete my work. I felt like I couldn’t do it and I’d completely lost the passion for my course. Alongside this, we were separated from our friends and families, while being chased for rent by greedy halls and landlords.And in all this, where was the government?

The government rarely mentions students

As the academic year was about to start in 2020 our PM had a decision to make – to let students proceed as normal or to negatively impact learning even further.

Our PM chose to let us carry on as normal, and when Covid cases began to rise again, he let us take the blame for mixing. I remember being sat watching the news on so many occasions during the lockdowns, listening to different members of the government spewing absolute garbage but never even mentioning uni students.

The government has made it clear where they stand in terms of university. If they don’t want to support students learning during a pandemic, then what is our role? To keep the economy afloat for them? That’s the way it seems.

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