The Effect of the Covid‑19 Pandemic on Students and the Living and Learning Spaces at a South African University
Keywords:advising, Covid‑19, living and learning, residence life, student affairs
In March 2020, the South African President Mr Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national lockdown due to the rising cases of the Covid‑19 pandemic. As a result, some of the higher education institutions closed under lockdown level 5 and strategies had to be developed to adapt to the “new norm”. Consequently, students and the living and learning spaces in South Africa were affected, necessitating therefore that transformation in all spheres takes place. This study, through a qualitative research design, investigated the effect of Covid‑19 on students and the living and learning spaces at a selected university in South Africa. Fifteen students and ten Residence Advisors (RAs) were telephonically interviewed. The results revealed that the living and learning spaces had been significantly transformed by the Covid‑19 pandemic. The operations of these spaces had been compelled to change in order to comply with the Covid‑19 regulations, such that student learning was shifted from face-to-face to online learning. This meant more time spent indoors, stricter measures now in place and the RA roles having been broadened to ensure that they also monitor compliance. The study also noted that even after the pandemic, things will still take time to get back to normal. This article concludes that Covid‑19 has had a huge effect on the living and learning spaces as well as students at the selected university and that both students and staff should play their roles effectively to ensure that everyone remains safe.
Copyright (c) 2021 Blessing Kanyumba, Nondumiso Shabangu
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See: The Effect of Open Access).