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Introducing Academic Skills

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COVID-19, the pandemic which affected most of the world, was probably one of the most remarkable of all events in the last century. The pandemic which seemed to have originated in China's Wuhan rapidly engulfed the entire world and its spread was witnessed by most people living across the globe. The most significant element of the entire pandemic was the lockdown; there was a period in the year 2020 when almost the entire world was locked up inside its home. There were several sectors of human lives which were affected by the pandemic, such as the economic condition of countries and the world in general (Arifiati et al., 2020). However, the education system was one of those sectors which suffered a massive blow. Education was synonymous to classrooms, be it those attending schools or places of higher learning such as colleges and universities. However, the pandemic changed everything. At first, all the schools, colleges and universities were initially closed and learners were confined to home like in any usual vacation but that was only a temporary reactive solution. As the duration of the pandemic started to rise, the main question at hand was how would the students continue their education because education is an active process which happens gradually. Then a solution was offered which was implemented across the globe: the idea of online learning. Online classes and learning, be it in universities or schools, was an introduction of a responsive step which revolutionized the idea of education. This report would, therefore, analyse the overall experience of university students in the United Kingdom (Browning et al., 2021).

Finding and evaluation process

In matters of research, while making advanced reports or studies, it becomes important that the one composing the report or study has a sound knowledge of where to acquire the information for the research piece. No matter how small or big any piece of study, research or report be, there has to be a proper search strategy through which the information shall be acquired. A search strategy is an organised structure of all the key terms related to the broader theme or topic that would be hsed while searching the database for information (Gamage et al., 2020). Search strategy helps in filtering out any irrelavant piece of information and get the desired data which would be helpful during the entire course of academic routine. In a database like Google Scholar, there are uncountable journals, articles, etc., through which data can be acquired but putting in the key words related to the topic would help in getting the desired result. The key words for this report would be 'COVID-19 and education', 'effects of COVID-19 on university students' and 'COVID-19 and its effects on the university students of UK'. Searching for information and acquiring data becomes easier by using important keywords because searching the database using long sentence does not usually bring about the desired results (Lechner et al., 2020).

Upon searching on Google Scholar using the specified keywords, there were several piece of research and studies which came up, such as, 'Online delivery of teaching and laboratory practices: Continuity of university programmes during COVID-19 pandemic', 'University students online learning system during Covid-19 pandemic: Advantages, constraints and solutions', etc. Besides the research articles, a book relevant to the topic of the report was also found and referred: COVID 19- Impact on Education and Beyond by Kundu and Ngalim. The two journals which was found on the Google Scholar by using the keywords gives a general outline about the situation which the students going to universities faced not only in the UK but most parts of the world. Although the scope of this report is to strictly align the findings and perspective according to the situation faced by the university students of the UK but getting a general understanding helps as well in finding the basic hurdles which university students faced (Mossa-Basha et al). Then the book which is mentioned among the list of sources gave an idea as to how COVID-19 manage to impact the education sector; education sector, as aforementioned, was one of the most affected of all sectors due to COVID. The policy for tracking interventions by the government was launched by the academics of Oxford University; it's graph is one of the five sources under the policy section.

The fifth source is a graphic illustration on the impact of COVID-19 on higher learning globally.

CRAAP test is a test in which the reliability and relevance of the informative sources are assessed. CRAAP is an acronym for currency, relevance, authority, accuracy and purpose. The currency portion of the test checks the timeline of the info, if the information is relevant to the times of the research (Perez-Jorge et al., 2020). The revelance portion checks if the information acquired fits the need of the research. Authority and accuracy looks after the source, reliability and correctness of the information. Purpose is the reason why the information exists; whether it is educational, for entertainment or business. All the sources referred for the piece and mentioned in the report has passed the CRAAP test and it has been made sure that no false or irrelevant data or information has been used.


How has the response to the COVID-19 pandemic shaped the experience of university students?

COVID-19, the pandemic which engulfed and impact most aspects of the human life was one of the most remarkable events in all of human history. When COVID-19 started to spread from China's Wuhan, the region of China had to be immediately put into total lockdown. Gradually the infection reached other parts of the globe and there was a time in 2020 when almost the entire global population was inside their homes, totally cut-off from public sphere. Offices, schools, universities, markets, restaurants, every single place of public gathering was either totally shut down or was functional only in parts.

Students going to school and universities were deprived of their environmental learning process where they would sit and learn. United Kingdom was the country which was one of the worst hit due to the pandemic. United Kingdom and France were the two countries in Europe which suffered a lot and being a country which houses most of the top-class global universities and institutes, the case of higher learning in the UK was something worthy of being studied (Santosh, 2020). UK is known for its great universities and institutes of learning such as the Oxford University, Cambridge University, Leeds, Glasgow, Birmingham, Leicester, etc. Not even the citizens of the country, but students from all around the world flock to the country in order to achieve the better degree of learning which is available in the United Kingdom. All of these informations and basic perspective were gathered from the five sources mentioned in section of theme 2.

All of the sources, be it the two journals or the book, the graph and the illustration, all the five sources gave a unifying idea of how the students studying in university not only in the United Kingdom but also in different regions of the globe were affected in a considerable manner (Thakur et al., 2021).

The book presented the most convincing evidence and points regarding the overall impact of COVID-19 lockdown on the students belonging to university education in the UK or anywhere across the world.

There were several aspects of the human life which was affected but education was one of the worst affected due to the rapid spread of the infection across the globe. Before the pandemic, education was a phenomena, which was imagined in a manner where students are sitting together in a classroom being taught by a professor or a teacher. COVID-19 impacted the lives of the students belonging to higher learning in a considerable manner.

Reflection and four-point action plan

School-going children can even be taught at home and their education is more of a grooming process but students studying in universities are at a critical juncture of their lives where it is make or break for them. The primary reason besides education why people enroll in universities is employment and career and with their ages passing like water, university students often stay anxious about their career and future. The closure of university not only put halt to their education but also stopped their run towards their career for a significant period of time. This anxiety and trouble affected students mentally and became a cause of depression among many students (Wilson et al., 2020). The situation of COVID-19 helped me appreciate the value of time and also be at ease regarding the overall concept of future and career because what is meant to be achieved by a person would slowly but surely be achieved when the time is right.

Action plan:

  • Universities should prepare a framework following which the students would be able to maintain their mental health.
  • Institutions must help the students indulging in higher education to smoothen the employment process.
  • Students must keep in mind that mental trauma leads to nothing.
  • Families and peers should help the students in not feeling alone or isolated.


Arifiati, N., Nurkhayati, E., Nurdiawati, E., Pamungkas, G., Adha, S., Purwanto, A., Julyanto, O. and Azizi, E., 2020. University students online learning system during Covid-19 pandemic: Advantages, constraints and solutions. Systematic reviews in pharmacy, 11(7).

Browning, M.H., Larson, L.R., Sharaievska, I., Rigolon, A., McAnirlin, O., Mullenbach, L., Cloutier, S., Vu, T.M., Thomsen, J., Reigner, N. and Metcalf, E.C., 2021. Psychological impacts from COVID-19 among university students: Risk factors across seven states in the United States. PloS one, 16(1), p.e0245327.

Gamage, K.A., Wijesuriya, D.I., Ekanayake, S.Y., Rennie, A.E., Lambert, C.G. and Gunawardhana, N., 2020. Online delivery of teaching and laboratory practices: Continuity of university programmes during COVID-19 pandemic. Education Sciences, 10(10), p.291.

Lechner, W.V., Laurene, K.R., Patel, S., Anderson, M., Grega, C. and Kenne, D.R., 2020. Changes in alcohol use as a function of psychological distress and social support following COVID-19 related University closings. Addictive behaviors, 110, p.106527.

Mossa-Basha, M., Medverd, J., Linnau, K., Lynch, J.B., Wener, M.H., Kicska, G., Staiger, T. and Sahani, D., 2020. Policies and guidelines for COVID-19 preparedness: experiences from the University of Washington. Radiology.

Pérez-Jorge, D., Rodríguez-Jiménez, M.D.C., Ariño-Mateo, E. and Barragán-Medero, F., 2020. The effect of covid-19 in university tutoring models. Sustainability, 12(20), p.8631.

Santosh, K.C., 2020. COVID-19 prediction models and unexploited data. Journal of medical systems, 44(9), pp.1-4.

Thakur, K.T., Miller, E.H., Glendinning, M.D., Al-Dalahmah, O., Banu, M.A., Boehme, A.K., Boubour, A.L., Bruce, S.S., Chong, A.M., Claassen, J. and Faust, P.L., 2021. COVID-19 neuropathology at columbia university irving medical center/New York presbyterian hospital. Brain, 144(9), pp.2696-2708.

Wilson, E., Donovan, C.V., Campbell, M., Chai, T., Pittman, K., Seña, A.C., Pettifor, A., Weber, D.J., Mallick, A., Cope, A. and Porterfield, D.S., 2020. Multiple COVID-19 clusters on a university campus—North Carolina, August 2020. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 69(39), p.1416.

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