The current lockdown situation has left some students finding it hard to continue their studies. Especially for students who study more practical based courses, such as beauty or video production.
Universities are altering assessments and providing alternative learning online, but this doesn’t help those who don’t have access to the equipment needed for their course.
I spoke with a number of students to see how they were coping with studying in the current situation.
Matilda – Norwich University of the Arts
Matilda is a second-year student studying Film and Moving Image Production at Norwich University of Arts. Her second-year project is for her group to create a music video to advertise the tour of an opera company, despite most of the tour now being cancelled.
Matilda said: “We’re still working on it, so we’ve lost all motivation”. She also added that their director struggles to contact them as he is in another country, after having to leave before all the flights got cancelled. Matilda also said that they are unable to take anything out of the media recourse centre, and “that’s awful for us for obvious reasons as we don’t have a million-pound camera lying around”. She also added that her university is adapting as well as it can, with online lectures and free access to Adobe software.
Kieran – Nottingham Trent University
Kieran is a second-year student studying Live and Technical Events at Nottingham Trent University. He said: “It’s hard to continue due to not having the professional equipment needed to complete the course” and has described his current situation as “a nightmare”.
Two pieces of essential equipment needed for his assessments is the Ma2 Lighting console and the Digico Sound console, which he doesn’t have access to. Kieran says he feels at a disadvantage to students doing less practical based courses as “we aren’t going to achieve our highest compared to those that don’t need specialist equipment.”
Lauren – Staffordshire University
Lauren is a second-year student studying Photography at Staffordshire University, where she has access to industry-standard studios, cameras and lighting equipment, such as “the rig where we have the broncolor lighting” and “portable lighting kits which allow us to short work on location”. However, in light of the lockdown, Stafford University has extended their deadlines by two weeks. She has been given the option of alternative assessments and students that do not have their own camera are allowed to use their mobile phones instead. Lauren said: “Fortunately I have a Canon 5D Classic” but does feel “it would be a lot easier to do a degree where it was solely essay based”.
Students on practical courses rely on professional equipment and specialist software provided by the university, which is too expensive for them to buy themselves. Although this lockdown is not the easiest time for anyone, they feel that they are at a disadvantage compared to students studying less practical based courses, who are required to write essays rather than to produce and create content.