The follow-up surveys done as part of the UvA Crisis Monitor, which have been conducted over recent weeks, paint a similar picture on most points to that seen in the first survey. The impact on the well-being of students and staff of the measures taken by the UvA as a result of the corona crisis is still substantial.
After the first survey (the baseline measurement) sent to all UvA students and employees in mid-April, there have been four follow-up assessments so far: each employee and student was invited to participate in one of those follow-up assessments. The response rate to the follow-up surveys was reasonably good and fairly stable: between 500 and 600 employees and between 800 and 1000 students responded each time.
The new results are in most respects comparable to those in the first measurement. Almost half of the students and staff are strongly to very strongly concerned by the corona crisis. In addition, many students are concerned about their study progress and are experiencing increased study pressure, and a large proportion of employees indicate that they are experiencing more work pressure than they were in the period before corona.
The new results also show some differences from the initial outcome. For example, there is a decrease in the extent to which staff and students feel communication from the UvA has been clear. Both students and employees indicate that they need information about the coming academic year and the prospects for the near future. Students also say that they lack information about exams (both planning and implementation). Other points mentioned by both students and staff are the irregularity with which communication updates appear and that the information provided, both centrally and locally, can sometimes be ambiguous.
Satisfaction with online education has also decreased slightly among students. Technical problems (with internet, VPN or Zoom) are cited by some as among the reasons for this. In addition, problems with exam proctoring are also mentioned.
In response, the Executive Board announced that it has received the message about clear communication and the need for information, and that it will continue to monitor the situation. At the same time, unfortunately, much remains unclear. At the press conference on 19 May, the cabinet indicated the scope for the universities to resume teaching and research on location from 15 June. For the time being, this scope is very limited: small-scale educational activities may only begin and end between 11 am and 3 pm or after 8 pm, and research activities are also only allowed to a very limited extent. Particularly for the period from 1 September onwards, the Board finds the possibilities offered insufficient. The possibilities relating to public transport need to be examined more closely. Discussions on this topic are currently taking place, both nationally and in the region. However, what education and research will look like after the summer is still uncertain. It has been agreed with the deans that no later than 1 July all programmes will announce how education will be organised in the first semester, including which parts will be online and which on campus.
The results of the Crisis Monitor, such as the feedback on the provision of information and regarding the technical aspects of online education, help the UvA to make policy and to make adjustments in its implementation.