The Intellectual Output 3 - Scenarios of Reactions
Coordinator: Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences (MATE)
The Intellectual Outcome aims to identify scenarios of reactions in education to the measures aiming at minimizing the pandemic COVID-19 at various universities within the different national contexts. The scenarios will be developed in the way indicating possible reactions in the future if a similar situation of natural disaster blocking and demonstrating how they might support (or block) inclusiveness. A sort of guideline is being developed on how to proceed under various circumstances and reflect the nature of life-science universities.
The national (or regional) context will be investigated using standardized forms enabling to conduct context analysis. The national context analysis will be utilized to provide the frames for the investigation of how the universities reacted in the time of pandemic (the reactions and decisions of the universities were framed into certain contexts). Based on the accession of the reaction a sort of “menu” of the reactions will be prepared. This document will enable stakeholders to select appropriate ways how to cope with the disruption in education (under certain situations a particular way of delivering education should be the most efficient).
When the measures of a lockdown in Hungary due to the COVID-19 pandemic were announced in March of 2020, hundreds of international students of Szent Istvan University who reside in the dormitory of the Godollo campus were forced to change their daily routine and plans for the summer. Classes were moved to an online system, limiting their mobility and social interaction. In addition, the indefinite lockdown cancelled the plans to travel home, work or go on holiday. Consequently, the students were exposed to high levels of stress and anxiety that needed to be addressed immediately, using the resources available within unprecedented circumstances.
This is how the “International Students Community Garden” emerged as a student-based initiative to alleviate the physical, emotional and economic impacts of the lockdown in the students through the creation of an agroecological garden that promoted outdoors hands-on work, social development and the regular provision of healthy, fresh and affordable food for the members of the group and the university community in general. The diverse group of students (nationalities, ages, faculties) involved in the project were able to learn innovative agroecological practices, develop leadership skills, alleviate the stress caused by the uncertainty of the circumstances, increase their awareness about food and environmental issues, diversify their diet and save money in food consumption, among other important lessons.
The success of the project is shown by the institutional recognition and the motivated group of participants who aspire to turn this initiative into a long-term project, as a foundation of a resilient student community that will be strong and prepared in times of distress. It has undoubtedly a huge transferability potential as such a good practice on spending free time however also trying out the learnt methods in practice is worth sharing at other life
science universities all over the world.
Target groups will be university staff (for collecting good practices) and students, local communities, municipalities in sharing the student community garden initiative.