The experiences of students and staff of the UvA during the second wave of corona have been in some ways similar: study and work pressure is high, and the lack of social contact and time outdoors has also been difficult. This is evident from the first measurements of the UvA Crisis Monitor this autumn. In the monitor, students and staff are questioned about, among other things, their experiences of small-scale education and research at physical locations in combination with working and studying from home.
The Executive Board and the deans of the faculties have discussed the results, and together they are looking at ways to achieve improvements, particularly with regard to study and work pressure, feelings of safety, and the balance between work and private life.
Worries and study pressure
More than half of the students (52%) are very concerned about the corona crisis. At the start of the first corona wave, this percentage was 47% and at the end of the first wave it was only 35%. Around 9% of the students are either not worried, or are hardly worried, about corona.
Study pressure experienced by students is high: on a scale of 1 to 10, they rate study pressure on average at 7.6. When asked what they miss most about studying under the current circumstances, the students mention: social contacts (78%), being outside the home (69%) and physical workgroups and lectures (66%).
Questions about whether students feel safe at UvA locations and in public transport when it comes to the risk of corona infection were a new element in this edition of the Crisis Monitor. At UvA locations 41% of the students feel safe and 25% feel unsafe. Many students depend on public transport to get to campus. 30% of students say they feel unsafe in public transport, compared to 28% who say they feel safe.
On campus and online education
The students were also asked whether they had attended any lectures or other forms of education in the previous week, what type (online or on campus), and how they rated the education. Almost two thirds of the students (64%) indicated that they had only attended online education; 28% had a combination of online and on campus. Education at physical locations is rated higher than online education: 89% of the students experience on campus as ‘good’, compared to 52% for online education.
Worries and workload
Almost half (48%) of the employees of the UvA are very concerned about the corona crisis, with the academic staff being more concerned (55%) than the non-academic (39%).
The average work pressure experienced by staff is exactly as high as the study pressure reported by students: 7.6 on a scale from 1 to 10. The work pressure among academic staff (AS) is on average higher than among non-academic staff (NAS). Compared to normal, pre-corona working conditions, employees say they miss: informal consultation with colleagues (79%), being outside the home (56%) and the conversation at the coffee machine (52%). When asked whether their manager takes sufficient account of the balance between work and private life, 18% of employees answered: little to very little. This share is larger for AS (22%) than for NAS (13%).
UvA employees currently work from home as much as possible, but that is not always possible, for example for lecturers who have to teach on location. At UvA locations, half (50%) of the employees feel safe and almost a quarter (23%) feel unsafe in terms of contamination risk. Of the employees who come to the UvA by public transport, 22% feel safe and 39% feel unsafe.
Education and research
Employee satisfaction with the provision of online education has increased since the end of the first wave. Then 52% were satisfied, that has now risen to 59%.
40% of the academic staff indicated that they had experienced significant problems in their research work due to the corona measures, with large differences between the faculties (see table).
The Crisis Monitor, which consists of repeated measurements, was restarted at the beginning of November. The aim is to increase insight into the impact on the well-being of students and employees of the measures the UvA has had to take due to the corona crisis. The results are important for policy and governance during the corona crisis, and are used by the central organisation as well as the faculties / services.