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Students most worried about families' health and work uncertainty amid crisis

More than 700 university students answered a new survey about the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Image: Shutterstock/Nejron Photo

THE HEALTH OF family members and employment uncertainty are the biggest worries third-level students in Ireland have amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new survey.

The online survey was conducted by GradIreland from 25 March to 1 April and 716 university students responded.

Most respondents said they are following the government’s guidelines in relation to the crisis but noted that quarantine has taken its toll, with many saying they are ‘worried’ or ‘sad’ when asked to describe their mood.

Students were most concerned for the safety of family members (79%), with two-thirds of those surveyed saying employment opportunities were the next biggest concern for them, followed by their own mental health, which was listed as a concern for 52% of student respondents.

When asked ‘What supports would help you in overcoming your concerns caused by Covid-19?’, students said they want more information about ongoing course work, work placements and applications processes for post-graduate programmes.

They also said they want information from employers about graduate recruitment processes, particularly those that may have been deferred or moved online.

‘No point of reference’ 

Commenting on the survey results, GradIreland Managing Director Gavan O’Brien said many students are worried about an uncertain future.

“These are uncertain times for everyone, but particularly students who were planning to finish their undergraduate programmes and move on to post-graduate studies or to start their careers and working lives this autumn.

“This generation does not have a point of reference for the economic uncertainties that have been created by the coronavirus or its impacts on the jobs market.”

O’Brien called on universities and employers to help by giving advice on “how graduates can prepare for working life after the lockdown”.

“This should include how they can keep developing their academic and workplace skills and also how to protect their mental and physical health,” he added.

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Órla Ryan

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