Section

Student experience

Abstract

The outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide has had a significant impact on the global higher education community. The governments around the world adopted social confinement measures to combat COVID-19, which has resulted in the closure of higher education institutions. Faced with multiple challenges, faculties rapidly converted curriculum to an online environment, which is anticipated to occur without sufficient preparation. Therefore, this study conducted a survey of students in post-secondary private institutions throughout Oman, to understand different approaches adopted by academic institutions to deliver education during the COVID-19 restriction, and the consequences of these restrictions on academic activities and quality of education. Moreover, the extent to which personal and financial circumstances have created challenges for students to continue their education is also analyzed. A total of 213 respondents completed the study, which were overrepresented by students enrolled in bachelors programme. The student satisfaction from the arrangement and delivery of education online was not more than 50 percent. The exams were cancelled and replaced by extra coursework in most cases, and in some cases students were assessed based on only the existing coursework. The major concern for many students (40%) was the inability to pay tuition fees due to the financial implication caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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