More than half of SA students experienced psychological distress in 2020 - study

Research showed that tertiary students across South Africa had one of the most difficult academic years in 2020.

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CAPE TOWN - Research showed that tertiary students across South Africa had one of the most difficult academic years in 2020.

Findings showed how more than 65% of students experienced mild to severe psychological distress during their academic year last year.

This was due to the national lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 was a year that many want to forget, a year like no other.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with job losses and universities being forced to shut down, left many students devastated.

Results in the survey showed how more than half of the students experienced mild to severe psychological distress.

The findings are contained in a report titled: The social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth in the post-school education and training sector in South Africa.

Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande: "I am concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on first-year students because they are the ones to be on campus more they are the ones who need to adjust from school to university."

The study also found that psychological distress was more prevalent among female than male students, and in those with high self-perceived risk of becoming infected with COVID-19.

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