Erfurt, 21 April 2020 – The summer semester starts today at most universities in Germany, but in a different way than usual: with online teaching instead of lectures in the lecture hall. How do students perceive these measures? This is what the current cross-university flash study* of the IUBH International University of Applied Sciences asks among 7,600 students. The result: Two thirds already see their studies significantly affected by the Corona crisis before the start of lectures, every second student is clearly more worried about their professional future since Corona. On the other hand, online study is becoming more attractive as a study model.

Many students fear delays in their studies

Because of the current Corona pandemic, the doors of the universities remain closed at the start of lectures. Teaching must therefore be converted to virtual in the shortest possible time at most institutions. Around two out of three (62%) students are worried that these measures will have an impact on their studies - especially with regard to exams as well as delays in their studies. The following applies: those who study full-time and in presence fear greater effects than distance or part-time students, who often study with an online component anyway.

Private universities offer more online measures than state universities

From the students' point of view, private universities implement measures faster than state universities. One in four state universities and one in five state universities of applied sciences have not (yet) communicated any measures to keep studies online.

53% of all students at state-run institutions state that no online courses take place at their university. Online seminars are available for 34% and only 10% get the opportunity to take exams online. "In light of the fact that the current situation may affect the entire summer semester, there is still a lot of catching up to do when it comes to exam services," says Dr Sven Schütt, Managing Director of IUBH, which has already been offering online exams since the end of 2016. He advises to act promptly, since "for exams, many administrative and legal framework conditions have to be considered in addition to technical ones, which can delay implementation".

Online studies are gaining in attractiveness

Online studies in particular are becoming more attractive to face-to-face students because of their flexibility in terms of time and location. 68% also want this flexibility in their future studies. 62% also hope for online exams as an alternative to face-to-face exams after the end of the Corona crisis. "Overall, this shows the great need for many universities to catch up in the area of digital teaching," says Dr Schütt.

Many students expect effects on their professional life

The fact that the current situation is having a strong impact on everyday life is also confirmed by the students: 87% of all respondents agree with the statement that Corona is having a great or very great impact on their private lives. But they are also worried about the consequences on the job front: 78% say that Corona is having a big impact on their current job - with cafés and shops currently closed, typical student jobs are particularly affected by the crisis. 51% are now much more worried about their professional situation than they were a few weeks ago. "A recession, as predicted by economic experts, can of course have consequences for people starting their careers," says Dr. Schütt. "But it has already been shown in the last economic crises: the better educated you are, the more crisis-proof your later job will be. So students should not be discouraged." At the same time, nine out of ten students believe that the Corona crisis will fundamentally change working life. In this respect, the crisis also holds an opportunity.



*Anonymised online survey with 7,600 students (35% face-to-face study, 65% distance and part-time study); period: 30.03.2020 – 09.04.2020; tool: Questback

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