- Penang Institute carried out a survey to examine what impact Covid-19 has had on undergraduate students in Penang, with a focus on three themes, namely 1) academic life, 2) social and emotional life and 3) employment prospects.
- The results show that the delivery of online teaching and administrative support were generally evaluated positively by the respondents. The number of respondents who are satisfied with online learning outnumbered those who are not.
- However, the experience of online classes also presents new challenges to the students. A significant proportion of the students encountered higher workloads and difficulties in group projects. Likewise, a significantly high percentage of respondents think that being in campus is important for their overall educational experiences as well as their social and emotional well-being. Also more students think that their learning experience has been hampered by Covid-19 than not.
- The survey also found that there is a significantly high percentage of respondents who think that their employment prospects have been hampered by Covid-19. At the same time, many respondents are willing to work in the gig-industry until they can secure a full-time job or even work in an industry that is not compatible with their educational qualification.
- This paper recommends that higher tertiary education institutions should embrace hybrid learning, rethink the one-person teaching model and invest in online teaching tools. Counseling services in these institutions should also create more easily available counseling guidance. Lastly, the state government should partner with private industry to create more job opportunities for these graduates.
The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in temporary closures for higher education institutions across Malaysia in 2020 and 2021. The pandemic transformed the way learning took place, with classes traditionally conducted in lecture halls being swiftly moved to online learning. The disruption has not only affected undergraduate students’ academic life, but also their social life and how they view their future prospects upon graduation.
This survey examines what impact Covid-19 has had on undergraduate students in Penang, with a focus on three thematic areas, namely 1) academic life, 2) social and emotional life and 3) employment prospect.
This survey was conducted from 28 September 2021 to October 2021 and was opened to all tertiary education students in Penang. Respondents participated in the survey on a voluntary and anonymous basis virtually. A total of 269 students from both public and private tertiary education institutions in Penang participated; 85.5% of them are from private tertiary education institutions and 14.5% are from public ones, and 56.5% of them are female and 43.5% male.
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