Lack of motivation a significant barrier for students during Covid-19, survey finds

Only half of students surveyed in a report by USI felt that online learning was of good quality

Nearly 80% of students cited lack of motivation as one of the major barriers they have faced during the outbreak of Covid-19 in Ireland in a survey carried out by the Union of Students’ in Ireland (USI).

This afternoon, the USI released the results of its Covid-19 students’ survey, as well as publishing documents outlining the union’s “priorities for the new government” and what students need in light of the pandemic.

Nearly 80% of students listed lack of motivation as one of the major barriers they faced, while just under a third reported issues with access to Wi-Fi. 

35% of all students felt they did not have adequate access to online learning content. 

The report outlines that over one-third (35.84%) of students reported not having opportunities to engage with other classmates.

In the survey, only 51.55% of students felt the online learning content was of good quality. Nearly 65% of students felt that their learning outcomes changed significantly as a result of Covid-19.  

38.42% of students also claimed that they performed significantly worse as a result of alternative assessments, with 17.05% feeling that they performed significantly better. 

According to the press release, the USI president Lorna Fitzpatrick and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kevin McStravock presented the new Minister for Higher Education, Innovation and Science Simon Harris with the union’s priority document last Thursday, when they met to discuss the problems currently facing students. 

In light of the pandemic, the priority document in parts focused on the student experience during the pandemic, as well as other longer-standing issues facing students.

Some of the priorities detailed in this document included high education funding, fees, the environment and the Irish language. 

“Today, the Union of Students in Ireland launches two really important documents,” Fitzpatrick said. “The first of which is student priorities for the new Government, which outlines our key asks and demands from the Government on issues that are important to students. These are based on our policies which are set by USI members from across the island at Congress each year.”

“Also, earlier this year we undertook some research in the form of a survey and focus groups where we discussed different issues that were affecting students as a result of Covid-19,” she continued. “The aim of this document is to inform decision-makers around the issues that affect students when they’re planning for the next academic year.”

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the Editor-in-Chief of the 69th volume Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister student of English Literature and Philosophy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.