The pandemic of COVID-19 has brought uncertainty, loss and hardship to many students across the globe, especially the students who are currently pursuing their higher education. The aspect of uncertainty surrounding their lives has taken a toll on many, causing mental-stability issues and anxiety. However, with colleges and universities across the globe pushing towards normalcy one step at a time, it has eased mental tensions of many. But, this issue is something which needs to be catered to and working together is the only solution.
Thereby, in this editorial, I have tried my best to address all such issues related to education, career instability and uncertainty, fear of unemployment, and so on, trying to cater to the right audience, giving educational institutions clear suggestions and insights to tackle such issues of their students.
Most importantly, the importance of engagement with peers and staff has to be motivated among the student fraternity irrespective of the medium of learning used. Also, training students towards inculcating a sense of belonging and the ability of blending-in is a must in today’s time. Being clear with students about their expectations and behaviour-variations sets the tone for a totally inclusive environment of learning. In addition, commitments need to be cleared out regarding what we find acceptable and unacceptable, especially related to the online space.
Relationship development is also a key, giving equal importance to sexuality and educational-relationship, an online environment has to be built carefully. Also, a culturally sensitive response team needs to be set up, addressing mental health issues which can particularly affect the students of colour. Online emotional counselling sessions and programs for well-being need to be piloted, which can be offered in most used languages of the students.
Mentor-mentee bonds need to be established on campuses, in turn helping students always have someone to rely on in terms of personal and professional issues they are currently facing. Also, the aspect of student well-being has to be incorporated into the education policy, promoting students’ development and quality of life. Parents also need to counselled towards asking for happiness, confidence and health in their wards, rather than achievement or success.
Fortunately, institutions of higher learning across the world are slowly adapting to this new change and working towards giving back to society – stable, and successful individuals of tomorrow. Thereby, we hope this issue helps budding students looking forward to progressing with their educational careers in an institution abroad, pick the right college/university in their goal of becoming successful professionals. We also hope that these individuals post their higher-learning endeavours, turn out to be helping hands of the world, giving back to society, as complete individuals. Lastly, we wish nothing but success to all the parents, faculty members, and budding higher-learning aspirants in every decision they take in their respective lives.
Stay safe, Stay happy 😀