COVID-19 Student Impact Survey

This short (10-15 minutes) survey is designed to give students a voice – a place where they can share their experiences, both positive and negative, and their concerns and opinions. It is intended to be completed once by any student of any institution, worldwide, who is aged 18+. The survey does not request any personal information, but it does request free-form text responses, so we encourage students to respond using a laptop, desktop, or other device with a full keyboard instead of a mobile phone if possible.

We promise to make the aggregated results publicly available as soon as possible and to do so on an ongoing basis. They will be available through this page.

Data and Results Availability

This section is regularly updated with ongoing data and published results, including links to our study materials, publications and data:

All study materials, including the survey instrument, manuscripts, citation instructions and license information are available on our OSF project page.

Our study is referenced in the World Pandemic Research Network as WPRN-416952.

Contact us at covid19.studentsurvey@gmail.com to add your voice.

I am the Director of Graduate Studies in the [department] at [university], and a board member of East Asian Studies. I would like to share that students both graduate and undergraduate have reported to me incidents of xenophobia on campus and in [city]. These incidents involve faculty as well as [city] residents. Students from East Asia as well as Asian-Americans have been targeted. Students have also expressed to me that they fear going outside even during the day because of the possibility of xenophobic violence. Students predominantly live in areas of [city] close to the [university] campus that have been rapidly gentrifying. As a result, these are areas that already experienced racial tensions. These tensions are now intensified. The University administration has to date (as of April 15, 2020) not issued any statement condemning xenophobia or offered a site where students can access resources on how to respond to and receive support for incidents of xenophobia. Several other so-called peer institutions have led the way – Harvard, Princeton, Stanford have all condemned xenophobia in statements to their university communities. In the absence of such a statement and an organized response to the intensification of xenophobia, students have been left to organize responses themselves, while wondering why the University administration would not simply issue a statement that other peer institutions have. It makes students feel deeply unsupported and makes them doubt the commitment of the University to diversity and inclusion. 

Just wanted to say a quick thank you for putting together this survey and making this data accessible. Even though things will become clearer as more data becomes available, the challenges to students’ mental health are glaring. While it’s heartening that respondents’ incomes haven’t decreased substantially, and that faculty are being flexible with regard to learning grades and assignments, the need for universities to be focussing far ore proactively on students’ mental health is quite clear. (Anecdotal though this may be, and while it is by no means unrelated, it does appear somewhat strange that my university’s gym appears to be far more imaginative than university services catering to students’ mental well-being). More importantly, even though departments and individual faculty members have been very helpful, there appears to be a general failure of leadership on the part of the administration, with university-wide communication so far seemingly more oriented towards sidestepping liability rather than genuinely providing support to students. This may well be a natural consequence of a bureaucratic mode of functioning, but it certainly doesn’t appear to be serving the student body well, and especially not in this time of crisis. – Kunal Joshi, Johns Hopkins University

Background

Faculty at Georgetown University recently observed distressing incidents of hardship among students. We also encountered stories of resilience and creative problem-solving in the face of new or uncertain work, school, and living conditions. These emerged as a result of disruption caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the ongoing COVID-19 disease pandemic, and the responses of governments and institutions to them.

At first we heard only the stories of our own students. We thus had a very limited understanding of the broader diversity of experience. Our colleagues at Georgetown and other institutions had similar stories to tell and had seen similar experiences among their own students. They all also shared the concern that they were missing many diverse experiences. We all agreed we are only seeing a small part of a much bigger picture.

We want to provide students an opportunity to share their diverse situations in a straightforward and simple manner. We have worked with faculty at various universities to design this short questionnaire assessing the impact of COVID-19 on students. The information you provide on your living and working conditions will be shared on a public platform while fully protecting your anonymity and confidentiality.

We hope that, with your collaboration, we can make the common concerns of students visible and public. This may help universities, public health experts, policy makers, and advocacy groups address these concerns and inform their student-centered planning. Please complete the survey if you are a student – or pass the survey along to students you may know or serve. Thank you.

Acknowledgements

This survey is the outcome of a collaborative process among faculty members at multiple institutions, including Georgetown University, Harvard University, London School of Economics and Johns Hopkins University. We especially thank (in alphabetical order) Maria Cancian (Georgetown University), Veena Das (Johns Hopkins University), James Habyarimana (Georgetown University), Joel Hellman (Georgetown University), Shareen Joshi (Georgetown University), Adnan Qadir Khan (London School of Economics), Steven Radelet (Georgetown University) and Franck Wiebe (Georgetown University). We also received esteemed feedback from the following Georgetown University students (in alphabetical order): Medha Joshi, Celia Laskowski, Gretchen Mohr, Olawunmi Ola-Busari, Emily Owen, Philomena Panagoulias, Aruj Shukla. The team members who designed the survey and will be involved in the analysis are Benjamin Daniels, Jishnu Das, Ali Hamza and Béatrice Leydier, all at Georgetown University. If you have any question, comment or feedback please email us at covid19(dot)studentsurvey(at)gmail(dot)com.

Data Privacy

This study is IRB-exempt according to the regulations of the Georgetown IRB, and is registered as such with the IRB as STUDY00002213. Study and IRB documentation can be accessed at https://osf.io/ry3km/. All materials are released under the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 International license.