Accessibility links

Breaking News

Student Union

Students Want Campus But Will Leave If COVID-19 Surges

In a recent Axios poll, 71% of the students interviewed said they would not attend sporting events.

The party’s on hold, so they say.

Most college and university students are willing to sacrifice social aspects of the college experience because of the coronavirus, according to a new poll from Axios.

Nearly 80% of students said they won’t attend parties, while 71% said they wouldn’t attend sporting events.

And if a severe outbreak of COVID-19 broke out, 67% of students said they would leave campus, while 54% would voluntarily download an app to conduct contact tracing.

COVID-19, or coronavirus, is a viral pandemic that appeared in late 2019 in China and spread around the planet. Most recently, it has surged in the U.S.

Most students — 76% — said they are planning on returning to campus this fall if they have the option, and 66% said that they will attend in-person classes if their university offers them, according to Axios.

“If you are a Marietta College student, I am straight up begging you to avoid COVID hotspots before we return,” Tyler Walker (@tbawalker) of Marietta College in Ohio tweeted. “If you bring the virus back to school with us, our semester will be finished at home. Don’t be the one responsible!”

Although universities have announced measures to maintain social-distancing protocol, some students and teachers are worried about returning to campus.

“If I were president of a college or university, I wouldn’t let people back on campus unless they could get a COVID test in the days before they move in,” Reilly Cosgrove (@reillycosgrove) of Creighton University in Nebraska tweeted.

Most students said they plan to be cautious when returning to campus. Ninety-five percent said they wear masks if unable to physically distance.

For many international students, on-campus housing is their only option. Student Chantelle Houareau asks her classmates to understand that foreign students can’t move home easily.

“Increasing the number of people on campus will increase the chances of people contracting coronavirus and causing an outbreak,” tweeted Chantelle Houareau (@chahouareau) of Lake Forest College in Chicago. “International students HAVE TO be there. You don’t.”

Some universities that offer in-person classes for the fall semester are providing students with personal protection equipment and free testing, as well as mandatory screenings and safety training.

The Texas A&M University system, for example, plans to offer free testing for students, faculty and staff. The plan states that “approximately 15,000 test kits will be sent to system campuses each month.”

“I would not be on campus right now if I did not feel safe. When we follow all [Centers for Disease Control] guidelines, it isn’t scary!” tweeted Abby Seeber (@AbbySeeber) of Valparaiso University in Indiana.

As of July 14, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, 56% of U.S. colleges and universities said they plan to reopen their campus this fall; 30% are proposing a hybrid model of part online and part in class; and 9% will hold courses fully online.

See all News Updates of the Day

How Are Girls in Afghanistan Continuing Their Education?

FILE - Afghan university students chant slogans and hold placards during a protest against the ban on university education for women, in Quetta, Pakistan, Dec. 24, 2022.

After the Taliban retook power in Afghanistan in 2021, they severely limited access to education for girls. Yet a club founded in the U.S., Flowers for the Future, helps Afghan girls keep learning through Zoom meetings with U.S. students. Two students, one Afghan, one American, describe their journey with the program and what it's taught them about grit, resilience and the importance of learning. Read the essays by Mahsa Kosha and Emily Khossaravi in the Hechinger Report. (May 2023)

Could Your International Degree be Financed by Goldman Sachs?

FILE - The logo for Goldman Sachs is seen on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, Nov. 17, 2021.

Quite possibly, since the elite U.S. investment bank has been investing millions in educational startups. Students from countries like India, Nigeria and Indonesia have long struggled to finance their U.S. degrees due to limited access to loans, but these new startups could disrupt that. For example, in just the first quarter of 2022, one startup, Prodigy Finance, reported a 98% increase in the number of Indian loan applicants. Nick Cuthbert of the PIE News breaks down the financial projections. (May 2023)

How Do College Sports Bring Together American and International Students?

FILE - People play ultimate frisbee on the beach, April 11, 2018, in Santa Barbara, California.

The game of Ultimate Frisbee has no referees and isn't governed by the official association for U.S. college sports. But it is intensely competitive, and students from Australia, China and elsewhere travel to the U.S. to play for the best schools. Andrew Smith of VOA Learning English reports on how college athletics can forge international friendships outside the classroom. (May 2023)

Is It Possible for Vietnamese Universities to Find Ways to Attract American Students to Study Abroad?

FILE - An aerial photograph of Hanoi, Vietnam, Nov. 6, 2021.

Vietnamese students now make up the fifth-largest group of foreign students in the U.S., according to the 2022 Institute of International Education’s (IIE) annual Open Doors report. The report found 20,713 Vietnamese students studied in the U.S. in the 2021-2022 academic year.

But now some Vietnamese universities have recently begun trying to attract U.S. students to study in Vietnam, a goal that is challenging, some education experts told VOA’s Khanh An. (May 2023)

Is Your Dream School in Good Financial Shape?

FILE - Graduating students gather for Commencement ceremonies at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, May 22, 2023.

The global consultancy Bain and Company has released an interactive tool to measure the financial health of U.S. colleges. You can use it to see what might happen if enrollments decline, or if the U.S. enters a recession. Bain's analysis suggests many schools are not prepared for future economic shocks. (May 2023)

Load more