Going to university should be an exciting fresh start! A chance to explore a new city. Make new friends. Live a life of freedom! Yet this year, everything is different. But it doesn’t have to be as negative as it seems…
With many universities advising students to self-isolate due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, it has never been more important than now to focus on the student experience.
Encourage them to stay...
If student experience isn’t your priority right now, students might leave. There have been several situations already where students are fleeing from their accommodation and heading home, despite the rules in some locations. Students told the Daily Record that staying in residences felt “like a prison”. One student said: “The rules are so restrictive, why would anyone want to stay?”
Now let’s think about what this actually means… Why are students feeling so negative about staying in student accommodation?
“Staying in prison” could mean several things.
They have nothing to do
and are bored
They are missing out on socialising
They miss “normal life” and freedom
To name but a few reasons. But being in student accommodation should NEVER feel this way. Regardless of being in lockdown or not. Students shouldn’t feel that staying in their accommodation is a chore. University teams must be investing in resources to a) monitor how students are feeling and b) keep them entertained. With the right support and provided entertainment, students will have a much more enjoyable experience.
Keeping them entertained
With students spending more time in their rooms, you must be aware that their time may not always be spent in the best way. For example, Charity Today advised that "the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) has warned that the drastic change to student life this year could increase the risk of students experiencing gaming and gambling-related harm at university.”
By offering a range of entertainment and support, you will not only keep your students occupied and prevent them from online addictions, such as gambling, but you’ll also ensure they’re respecting social distancing rules.
Let’s discuss some ways you can do this…
1. Keeping in touch
As students will be spending less time in corridors and lecture theatres, the university must be keeping in touch with students online. Not only to ensure they're keeping safe and entertained but more importantly, to check their wellbeing.
2. Virtual events
Virtual events don’t need to be restricted to Fresher’s Week. As students are limited on where they can go after their studies and at the weekends, why not host some online events for them?
There are so many traditional games that can be moved online. Here are 3 that our customers hosted.
Going the extra mile to provide a different but exciting student experience during these challenging times could prevent students from heading home and even withdrawing. After all, their wellbeing and happiness is priority and it’s YOUR job to support them.