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COVID-19 Was Mind Altering, Say Students

Australia 02, 17, 2022: Close to three quarters of university students in Australia who took part in an international study on wellbeing, COVID-19 and educational outcomes say the pandemic has had a long-term impact on their state of mind, with almost half delaying their university experience.

The research was conducted as part of the launch of Yugo, the first global student housing operator created to enhance students’ experiences throughout and beyond university life with Australian sites in Melbourne and Perth, and Yugo Adelaide City under construction.

The research included several studies, exploring the views of over 10,000 students across nine operating markets around the world.

Internationally, the survey found COVID-19 had had a long-term impact on the state of mind of 66% of students, which rose to 72% in Australia. However, the impact was less than in Europe, where 82% said they had suffered a long-term impact, in the UK (74%), Spain (76%) and Germany (75%).

In Australia, 47% of students said COVID-19 had led to social anxiety, and it had made them more vigilant when it came to health and hygiene.

Almost half of the students in Australia taking part (49%) delayed their university experience because of the pandemic, compared to 67% in Germany and 57% in Ireland.

COVID-19 had impacted decision making for 82% of students in Australia, compared to an international average of 78%.

Social media and digital communication have broken down international borders and allowed people to stay in touch during COVID-19 and times of social isolation, bringing the world closer together. However, the survey found the reliance on digital technologies had had a negative impact for many students.

In Australia, 50% said reliance on digital interactions such as gaming, video calls and conferencing during the pandemic had negatively impacted their emotional wellbeing, with 57% in Germany feeling worse, along with 54% in the UK and in Ireland.

Students in Australia were less likely to be concerned about living with friends who may give them COVID-19 than any other country, with only 27% worried, compared to up to 41% in Spain.   

The international survey of students’ thoughts was taken earlier this year, Tim Klitscher, Managing Director, APAC & UAE at Yugo saying that despite Australia having low numbers of COVID-19 compared to the rest of the world, it had still impacted students.

“Many students staying in our spaces are away from family, and isolation and shutdowns have had a significant impact on a large proportion of them,” Mr Klitscher said.

“By providing a support network of staff and creating a community which becomes a microcosm of life, we can at least make them feel more at home and in a nurturing and protective environment.

“Longer-term, we know that the transition to digital communications and study hasn’t suited everybody, and we know students are keen to return to face-to-face courses and have a greater interaction with their peers on campus.”

Yugo’s unique approach

At Yugo, students are empowered to grow personally through collaborative events and projects under the Live Your Best Life program - a holistic living experience developed from the Yugo research of thousands of students worldwide. This program supports students through three pillars based on sustainability - YugoEco, education – YuPro, personal development - YuGrow, to deliver on their needs and expectations. 

YugoEco will see Yugo coming together with students to create better living spaces and a better planet through several initiatives. These include low energy usage programs, a collaboration with the Carbon Literacy Project on the importance of living more sustainable lives for students, and global partnerships with like-minded businesses for events, education and student experiences.

YuGrow will encourage Yugo students to shine by supporting their personal journey through events and activities in Yugo spaces, including student podcasts, diversity events and global student networking opportunities. Yugo also pledges to provide students with the most sustainably sourced chair and mattress – these were key findings from the Yugo research as critical to their life to support both their physical environment and their emotional needs.

YuPro is all about empowering young people beyond higher education and to help prepare them for their careers. Yugo is also offering training sessions in areas such as career advice, real life experience, coaching and empowerment.