In 2020/2021, we worked on a report discussing how the changes introduced at selected Polish and British universities due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic affected the students’ sense of belonging to the academic community.
The report consists of two parts. The first section presents in detail the changes implemented by universities to facilitate further learning and development of the students in response to the COVID-19 related restrictions. The second part includes an analysis of the survey examining the changes in students’ sense of belonging to their universities.
We believe these two matters to be strictly interconnected. Becoming acquainted with the circumstances surrounding students can help understand the factors affecting their feelings about their connection to the university. Our findings reveal that despite the efforts of the universities’ authorities, students rarely feel a part of the community. Even though their academic results have not worsened, the general satisfaction from learning significantly decreased due to lack of in-person contact.
Conclusions of the 2021 Report were presented during the 10th edition of the LSE SU Polish Economic Forum conference on 14 April 2021. The presentation was followed by a panel discussion with invited experts: Prof. Przemysław Sadura (University of Warsaw), Przemysław Staroń (SWPS University), and Zuzanna Samson (LSE PBS Research Unit). The discussion was moderated by Justyna Suchecka (TVN24). Full video coverage from the debate is available here.