University students in Newcastle struggle with learning as classes are cancelled because of COVID-19

Universities in Newcastle closed their lecture halls and cancelled face to face learning on the 16 March following advice from Public Health England and the Government.

However, shutting universities could create more problems as it makes it more difficult for students to learn.

Ryan Baxter, a student from Northumbria University said: “I have faced many difficulties in the sense of I don’t have the motivation to get up and do the ‘online learning’ stuff. I feel like I don’t engage as much as I take things in through hearing it and I’m struggling to concentrate whilst at home.”

Northumbria University. Credit: PA Images


A student who wanted to remain unnamed from Newcastle University also said: “I personally do not learn effectively from online lectures and seminars, so I do not feel confident on any of the material I was expected to learn whilst working from home. I also still have essays I am expected to complete and the resources the library and campus offer are now rightly unavailable, but I believe my grades may suffer due to the lack of resources I have at home.”

All libraries have closed due to advice from the Government, so this adds to the difficulty of getting resources for assignments and assessments.

Both universities send regular emails to all of their students to keep them updated with the situations. The universities have pages on their websites dedicated to informing everyone on their situation. They state the course of action they have took and have FAQs on their page along with other information.

The Newcastle University student said: “I study English Literature, which requires a lot of discussion based learning and online it is difficult to experience the same good level of communication as you would be able to have in person.”

Baxter said: “I study business with marketing management and in third year, so it’s disturbed my learning through not being able to engage as well as I could of whilst in lectures and seminars.

“I feel this overall experience shows that Northumbria still has much improvement to make over the support provided, especially for third year students. I think lecturers should offer further support and improvement should be made in their crisis management.”

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