Opening of the academic year: 20% of the students needed a loan

Opening of the academic year: 20% of the students needed a loan
Opening of the academic year: 20% of the students needed a loan

Returning to the study bench: After 5 semesters in the shadow of the Corona plague, most students will return to campuses this morning (Sunday). In return – The Student Union published this morning a survey conducted among about 10,000 students that examined their economic situation, employment status and housing and their satisfaction with academic institutions.

Still getting help from parents – and spending a lot more money

Following the move to online studies, a quarter of students reported in the annual survey that they changed their residency plans and avoided moving to a rented apartment or returning to their parents ’home. Compared to last year where 46% of students reported receiving financial assistance from parents, this year their number dropped to 39%. In addition, one in five students reported taking out a loan.

Of the financially assisted parents, the average aid reported is about NIS 1,765 a month, an increase of NIS 225 compared to last year. A large majority of students, 70%, fear for their economic / employment future following the corona crisis. At the same time, there is a decrease in concerns compared to last year.

Academic institutions are empty at the height of the plague. The Hebrew University | Photo: Alon China Moshe

The fear among Arab society is 87% and much greater than in Jewish society – 67%. The concern and economic distress deepens when the expenses are higher than the income, and the data from the report show that the total average monthly expenditure of students is NIS 5,459. This is an increase of NIS 531 (11%) compared to last year, and the main monthly expenses among students are for housing, food and travel.

70% of the loans taken out by students amounted to more than NIS 15,000, and the average loan amount is NIS 34,145. This is an increase of NIS 6,941 (26%) compared to last year. Law students take the highest loans, with an average amount of NIS 46,109, while arts students take the lowest, NIS 17,729. The average loan amount is higher among students (NIS 41,290) compared to female students (NIS 29,680).

Shlomi Yehiav, Chairman of the National Association of Students: “There is a deep erosion in the quality of learning” | Photo: Sivan Tzadok, National Student Association

In the field of employment – most of the students in the sample (71%) reported that they work in some job during their studies. Half of them reported not working in a field related to their field of study. Of those who do not work, about two-thirds (66%) cited studies as the main factor that does not allow them to work or do not have time for it, and about 71% of those who do not work claimed that they do not find work.

Studying in class or at home? The combination wins

The survey shows that 79% of students are dissatisfied with the social aspect of distance learning and the lack of interaction with their classmates. About half of the students prefer a combination of online and on-campus learning, and about 43% believe that understanding the material is weakened while distance learning.

And not only has the understanding of the material weakened, 54% of practical engineers and 49% of budgeted college students believe that distance learning is what caused it. In contrast, some have stated that understanding of the material has improved in online studies, including 32% of non-budgeted college students.

Students on campus | Photo: Tel Aviv University

Among other things, the survey found significant differences in relation to preferences regarding distance learning. 52% of university students prefer to combine distance learning and on-campus learning, compared to 24% of university students who prefer distance learning over campus learning, and 24% who prefer campus study over distance learning. Large gaps were found among practical engineers, 48% of whom prefer to study in combination, compared with 15% who prefer distance learning, and 37% who prefer learning from campus.

Student Survey: One in five takes out a loan | Illustration: Pavel Litvinsky, Shutterstock

Most Satisfied with Learning in Corona: Non-budgeted college students

The survey also examined the satisfaction of students from the educational institution and included questions about the quality of teaching, the technical operation of online learning by the lecturer, the quality of learning, the ability to concentrate and pay attention and the nature of the exams. The average score for assessing the quality of online learning during the highest corona crisis was in the unbudgeted colleges (3.75) and later in the colleges of education (3.65).

University Rankings:

  • The Open University (3.87)
  • Bar-Ilan University (3.62)
  • Tel Aviv University (3.6)

The budget of the budgeted colleges:

  • Achva Academic College (3.63)
  • Sapir Academic College (3.62)
  • Western Galilee Academic College (3.62)

Non-budgeted college rankings:

  • Peres Academic Center (3.87)
  • Ono Academic Campus (3.82)
  • College of Management (3.61)

Ranking of educational institutions:

  • The Ed Gordon College of Education (3.98)
  • Kibbutzim Seminary College (3.93)
  • Orot Israel Academic College of Education (3.81)

The institutions with the lowest average satisfaction score are the ORT Braude College of Engineering, with a score of 2.81, the Kay College of Education (3.17) and Ben Gurion University of the Negev (3.20).

ORT Braude College of Engineering – the lowest ranked institution | Photo: PR

Shlomi Yehiav, chairman of the National Association of Students, said of the survey findings: “It is time to get out of the zoom and return to campuses. The survey data illustrate to us that full online learning is not the solution – there is a deep erosion in the quality of learning and a severe damage to the social aspect is formed among the student public. The ideal solution is to return to frontal learning under the guidance of the Ministry of Health, while integrating online solutions for those who cannot reach campuses. I congratulate the first institutions in the ranking and those that improve every year – continue to be relevant and attentive to the changing needs of the future generation. “

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