The academic year started with the resolution of former rector magnificus Rutger Engels to remove the source of stress, workload and mental issues among students (and staff). Unfortunately, according to the results of the Student Wellbeing Monitor, things have not improved. Students are still suffering from stress, anxiety and depression.
Online teaching, technical problems and a second camera during proctored exams caused a great deal of stress. Bachelor students of Management of International Social Challenges wrote an open letter with a cry for help about study pressure and their mental health. “Everything has become a dull, grey version of what it should be”, was the hopeless conclusion of a student respondent in our survey into studying during the pandemic at the end of 2020.
The university tried to help students and in March last year was quick to launch the platform Are You OK Out There?. A new plan to develop a well-being app was rejected by the University Council. The Council feels that the university should instead reduce the pressure to perform. Rector magnificus Frank van der Duijn Schouten now also acknowledges that the excessively performance-oriented culture must change.
You can see that students are not doing well from their drug use. With no social life to entertain them, students resorted to smoking more pot and drinking at home, alone on the sofa. They were desperate to be with each other again, so some of them took walks together.
We could continue the summary, but our illustrator Pauline Wiersema does it much better. She depicted the challenges of studying during the pandemic (and hopes for #1septemberoffline).