I focus better in the library – story behind student in lockdown

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A final year student has spoken about her concerns on completing studies from home.

Rahma Duale has been studying Political Science in the University of Birmingham. She was given an extension to complete her dissertation due to the lockdown changes.

The 21-year old student was weeks away from finishing her final year before the Coronavirus lockdown had begun.

Rahma has returned home to Bristol to complete her studies.

Credit: Rahma Duale.

Rahma said: “I have found the change in my studying environment particularly difficult to adjust to which has made me feel very anxious as I feel like I am not completing enough work in the day.” 

University of Birmingham’s mental health and wellbeing services have created a “canvas course” due to face-to-face services being suspended. This course allows their students to access resources to help with anxieties and worries.

Academic teaching has been moved online for the majority of students across the UK. This change included attending lessons on Microsoft teams or Zoom.

 “My university has been helpful in uploading all resources online and I continue to meet with my dissertation tutor on facetime. However, I do feel like FaceTime meetings are not as effective as face to face meetings with my tutor where I can clearly present my progress to him,” said Rahma.

Universities across the UK have had to postpone summer graduations as a result of Coronavirus. Thousands of students across the country are still unsure when they will be graduating. However, University of Birmingham have decided to move their graduation ceremony to March 2021.

She said: “It was very disappointing when I was informed by my University that our ceremony will be moved to 2021. I do understand that these are difficult times but still feel disheartened as I was looking forward to celebrating my achievements this year.”

Our Twitter poll echoed students’ concerns resulting in 171 votes with 92% voted yes to, “finding it challenging to revise/complete assignments without access to relevant resources”.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “We understand that this is a difficult time for student’s, and we are working tirelessly with the sector to ensure students are supported and able to complete their studies.”

A Universities minister and a member of Parliament: Michelle Donelan, issued a public statement saying: “As a Universities Minister, I understand that this is an extremely difficult time and I want to reassure you that we are putting students at the heart of all our work.”

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