NZSE Student Support leaders, Huia Murupaenga and Xin Jin give some insights on how their teams have gone above and beyond for students during lockdown.
As New Zealand went into lockdown and NZSEG’s Seafield and NZSE moved online, our Student Support team predicted that some students were going to face several challenges.
The initial challenges were technological issues which saw students struggling to source devices and internet connections required to study online. As the lockdown continued, other students faced accommodation issues, job losses, family issues and individual issues which interfered with studies.
“We watched as students overcame barriers and challenges and began to feel motivated and inspired to study again.” – Huia Murupaenga
For our international students, technology problems weren’t so much the problem – more a lack of motivation, stress, loneliness, and feelings of isolation as well some mental health issues became the concern.
The team quickly adapted and implemented incredible support around the clock, provided additional workshops and tutorials for those who couldn’t attend classes, an increased level of pastoral care for anxious students, worked with government agencies on options for visas and extensions, and consulted with mental health foundations to find the best solutions for those struggling with the situation.
“We chose to extend our services onto easily-accessible platforms such as Facebook, WeChat and Zoom which gave us better reach to communicate effectively with our students. A lot of this meant overtime and extended working hours but it all paid off.” – Xin Jin
NZSEG acknowledges the work these and many other staff continue to do under such trying circumstances and, like many businesses finding the way through the Covid-19 situation, looks forward to normality returning.