Beyond the COVID-19 crisis: The student perspective

25 May 2020

This article was originally published in Contact Magazine.

The Andrew N. Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership attracts, supports and develops some of the finest young minds in engineering and science. As the world looks for fresh ideas to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, Contact spoke to three Liveris Academy scholars about the role of universities during global challenges, and how they're adjusting to new ways of learning.

Liveris ScholarsAmber Spurway

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) student

How have you adjusted to life as an online student and what challenges have you faced?

For the most part, making the transition to life as an online student has been relatively smooth, thanks to the hard work of my course coordinators to upload all of the resources I need. However, there have been personal challenges around remaining motivated and up to date now that my schedule is more fluid and I’m tempted to spend too much time watching Netflix. Unfortunately, many of my courses had a large practical component to them, which are no longer viable. These have been replaced with virtual substitutes, which don't have the same level of engagement as the original courses. Despite these challenges, the transition has been positive and surprisingly easy to adapt to.

What role can universities and academies, like the Liveris Academy, play in finding solutions to overcoming the COVID-19 crisis?

The COVID-19 crisis poses more challenges than just the obvious health impacts and will have far-reaching effects on the economy and society in general. For us to overcome these challenges, we must foster a collaborative environment in which we can nurture and cultivate effective leaders who are focused on developing these solutions. Universities and academies, like the Liveris Academy, are uniquely positioned to do this by supporting students to grow as leaders and innovators by providing them with the resources to further their education. Furthermore, in order to create solutions that are long-lasting and will drive us forward into the future, we must focus on innovating sustainably to ensure the longevity of our society. For this reason, sustainability is a key focus of the Liveris Academy and a necessary consideration in any potential solutions. 

In what ways will the world be different, or better, after the COVID-19 crisis is over?

Throughout this crisis, we have seen allowances made by workplaces and universities all around the world to help people adapt to working online, and from home, to accommodate the differences in individual circumstances. I hope that this flexibility continues and ultimately leads to a more inclusive environment that’s open to adapting to the individual challenges people might face, such as disability, illness or financial strife. Additionally, I think we have seen some excellent examples of communities working together to protect their most vulnerable. I hope this compassion and kindness remains as life returns to normal so that we continue our focus on social welfare, while also prioritising the economy. The way we choose to learn and grow from the challenges we faced during this time is what will ultimately define us.


Read the full article in Contact Magazine