How the students evaluate the social environment at VMU?
In March of this year, the Student Representatives of Vytautas Magnus University (VDU SR) initiated a study of VMU social environment, which was aimed at finding out how VMU students feel, what shortcomings they are experiencing and what problems the university faces. The questionnaire was filled by 499 students from all academic units.
Most students rated the social environment as very good or good at the university. 25 students expressed the opposite opinion. Even 35% of respondents said they had at least one social problem. The most common cases are intolerance from both teachers and administrators and students (131 respondents). The students also claimed that they had noticed or experienced psychological violence on the part of the lecturer or the administration (49 respondents), 23 students had to experience the same violence from other students. 83 students have experienced or noticed bullying from the teacher or the administration or from other students. Faced with a social problem in the university environment, 119 students did not go anywhere.
When asked for a broader comment, a few dozen students said that teachers, especially those who teach foreign languages, are mocking or abusing them when a student is having difficulties while communicating in a foreign language. Some students also negatively marked the work of the administration, claiming that the employees were working negatively and not trying to help.
More than half of the respondents said that their studies at the university had caused severe anxiety and severe stress. About 30% of the students completing the questionnaire have felt a long-lasting bad mood or fear. Almost half of the students were unaware of the free psychological assistance provided at the university.
“The results of the survey showed that most students experience emotional tension but do not seek or know that there is free psychologist counseling at the university,” says Ieva Vengrovskaya, coordinator of VMU SR Social Affairs Committee. – For these reasons, we will try to contribute to publicizing the activities of VMU Psychology Clinic, so that students who are anxious, stressful or just want to talk to someone will know where to find the people who are ready to help. ”
More than half of students completing the questionnaire work. Most of them claimed to work because work is their main source of income. 101 students noted that supportive scholarships also contribute to living. However, almost 50% of respondents said that information about scholarships and university financial incentives is not clear enough for them.
The vast majority of students who responded to the questionnaire said that there was a lack of rest areas in the university environment and places where you could buy a warm lunch or warm up your food.
Almost half of students living in dormitories said they were only partially satisfied with their living conditions. The biggest inconvenience is the slow internet connection, noise and low room temperature.
I.Vengrovskaya argues that the results of the questionnaire clearly showed what the Student Representatives have to do to make students feel better at VMU: “We will start with the changes in infrastructure. Plans are currently being made to create more spaces for students to relax and eat. We also sent the University Rector a request for a free water machine at L. Donskis Library. ”
The Coordinator of the Social Affairs Committee also reveals that foreign students completing the questionnaire expect more activities at the university to help them integrate more successfully into the VMU community: “We strive to improve cooperation with Erasmus student network (ESN) mentors as well as to contribute to joint activity organizing to create better relations between foreign and Lithuanian students. ”
The majority of students completing the questionnaire are studying at the Faculty of Humanities (93 students), Faculty of Social Sciences (86 students), Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy (61 students) and VMU Agricultural Academy (57 students). 78% of the respondents study in undergraduate study programs, 18% have master’s degree programs, 1.6% are doctoral students, and 2.4% are full-time students.
If you notice any problems in the university’s social environment, you are welcome to contact VMU SR.