On average 56% of university students worldwide said their mental health suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, in a survey of about 17,000 students in 21 countries that was conducted for Chegg.org, an educational technology and textbook rental firm in the United States.
Brazil had the highest percentage saying their mental health suffered, at 76%, followed closely by the United States (75%), Canada (73%) and the United Kingdom (70%).
At 25%, Italy had the lowest number of students who said their mental health had suffered, followed by Russia (29%), China (38%) and South Korea (39%). Kenya, the only African country among the 21 countries in the survey, mirrored the global average with 56%.
According to Lila Thomas, the head of Chegg, between 20 October and 10 November 2020, her company had commissioned Yonder Consulting Limited, the London-based market research and opinion polling firm to undertake a survey on the lives, hopes and fears of university students around the world in the age of COVID and beyond.
As Thomas pointed out, Chegg’s survey appears more like a scorecard that details obstacles and challenges that the current university undergraduate student population is going through in their universities and countries during and probably after the COVID-19 pandemic.
But there is a light at the end of the tunnel in that, despite mounting learning challenges and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and by widening economic disparities, 56% of the students surveyed still felt optimistic and ready for future challenges in the years ahead.