Covid-19 has altered education, with online school becoming increasingly popular and useful including for students in the UAE where many university students are remaining due to the situation.
According to the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency, in the 2018-1019 academic year, an approximation of 5,200 students from the UAE attended university in the UK.
While many students have managed to travel to the UK to pursue online education in their university city, others have not been so lucky and have been completing their courses online internationally, including students in the UAE.
Although some find online schooling to be beneficial to their course and education, others find it deprives them of many aspects they would have gotten if they were physically at the university or even online in the UK.
Tala Sadi, a first-year student at King’s College London said: “I wasn’t really able to go to London at all because of Covid, so yes I am missing out on a lot. Being stuck in Dubai, I wasn’t able to visit the city and my first-year experience was completely taken away from me.”
Studying online internationally causes more problems than not being physically in class.
She said: “For online work, it tends to be even more independent but this isn’t really positive because we have less support and you find that a lot of the weight is on you to understand the material. And that’s not even to mention the time zones, where I could have a very late night class.”
“Our professors try to help but it doesn’t always work well: there’s always a big tension between everyone. Still, they try to understand everyone’s circumstances and make us feel better.”
Prospective university students in Dubai applying to the UK during Covid have been faced with challenges as well during Covid that previous students have not. Mainly the application process concerning grades.
Matteo Cappellini, a student at Dubai English Speaking College in Dubai said: “The application process is extremely different: grades are now teacher assessed. They are now purely determined by the teachers that have taught you over the course of two years. This eliminates in a way the whole purpose of examiners who are a random person view your work from an unbiased perspective.”