Reason behind this project
Since the end of the pandemic, students seem to participate less in activities on campus. This seems to be the result of a lack of social contact during covid, which can have a negative effect on student wellbeing and their feeling of interconnectedness. Can plenary meetings on campus and activities organised by students help to counter this?
Connectedness among students can lead to an improved wellbeing and more identification with the university. The covid pandemic has however weakened a part of that interconnectedness, resulting in missed opportunities to develop social networks and identity. Furthermore, student wellbeing has worsened because of the lack of contact.
It has been proven that low-threshold, knowledge-related meetings with meaningful interactions between people can lead to an improved wellbeing and social behaviour. However, it is unknown whether this also leads to a heightened sense of connectedness with the community, which, in this case, is the students’ study programme.
That is why the goal of this voucher project is to find out whether low-threshold, plenary meetings outside of the study programme can have a positive effect on the feeling of connectedness with the university among students. In addition, Vyrastekova aims to study whether activities organised by students themselves have a positive impact on expanding students’ social networks after covid.
Approach within the project
A thousand economics students will be invited to participate in the RECONNECT programme on campus, outside of their study programme. This programme will bring forward topics and speakers who'll represent the academic community. In addition, students will reflect on how they deal with setbacks and how the feeling of connectedness with the university among them can be improved. Findings within this group will be compared to a control group, in which such topics and reflections will not be addressed.