| 06.04.2021

Student wellbeing survey: Hanken has made a successful digital leap but there is also evidence of loneliness

Due to the pandemic, Hanken has transferred almost all teaching to online teaching since March 2020. According to a recent study, the students at Hanken are satisfied with their online learning environment and progress in their studies, but some clearly feel lonely.

In early February, a total of 2 274 Bachelor’s, Master’s, EMBA and PhD students were sent a questionnaire to gather information about student well-being and the need for extended support services.

The responses show that the students are pleased with their online learning environment, they have been able to find the information necessary to conduct their studies, and they have been able to complete their studies according to plan. Hanken has made a successful digital leap and even if the transfer to online teaching only was very sudden, the students have been able to study efficiently.

However, there is also evidence of loneliness. Half of the respondents felt lonely, and especially students who do not speak Swedish or Finnish as their native language, felt more lonely, probably due to a lack of social networks established before the pandemic.

It seems that especially first-year students at Hanken are experiencing loneliness and have missed out on many of the bonding experiences and the informal social interaction. Female students said they felt slightly lonelier than men.

Hanken can offer support immediately

Hanken has put much effort into developing services to prevent loneliness and to promote study progress. Additional study counselling resources, a study coach, a psychotherapist, study circles and training of students to participate in the student union’s Support student initiative are examples of new or extended services.

“We have strongly developed our student support since the beginning of the pandemic, and this survey helps us become aware of those students that need even more support”, says rector Karen Spens. “Nobody should be left alone. It is important that we show our support proactively as there might be students out there who hesitate to contact the support services, even if they need it”, she continues.

The total response rate was an impressive 42,4% (977 students). During the pandemic, Hanken has earlier sent similar well-being questionnaires to all first-year students. This was the first time all degree students were asked to answer questions on their well-being and study progress.