En los últimos meses, la aparición del coronavirus (también conocido como COVID-19) ha provocado cambios en todo el mundo de la educación. Este brote no solo ha puesto de relieve la vulnerabilidad de los estudiantes internacionales a tales riesgos, sino también la amenaza a la movilidad internacional que representa un virus que no conoce fronteras. Las instituciones de educación superior planean su reacción a la pregunta: ¿cómo ayudar  a los estudiantes , en particular a los estudiantes chinos y de otras regiones afectadas? Sin señales de que el virus vaya a desaparecer pronto, las instituciones de educación superior deben tomar las decisiones correctas para que los impactos en la salud y académicos sean los menores posibles . Aquí hay algunos consejos:


Address social exclusion and discrimination against students

Due to the origin of the virus in a specific region of China, recent media reports from various countries have indicated that Chinese citizens or others of Asian descent are reporting being stigmatized, excluded or discriminated against. In addition, Asian companies have noticed a clear slowdown in their growth in other regions of the world.

Being socially excluded and discriminated is a painful and, evolutionarily speaking, life-threatening human experience. Because being an accepted member of a social community has always been vital to our survival, human brains have become extremely sensitive to threats of exclusion.

Inclusive response on campus

Aware of the unique psychological distress of the students facing COVID-19, we must catch up with what is known about the virus: modes of transmission, incubation period, recommendations of the World Health Organization, updated control of national diseases and institutional, measures, etc. Only if we are up to date with the latest discoveries and developments, can we hope that the affected students will trust us to handle the situation.

Most higher education institutions are based on the principles of diversity, equality and inclusion, and therefore, institutions must clearly address how they will support and provide the necessary resources to those affected within the higher education community and counter the discrimination in any way. Consider the following actions:

Possible actions

  • Encourage students from affected regions (or who have concerns about family or friends) to discuss their concerns with trusted advisers, either within the university community (university advisory services, student societies, peer mentors) or the external community (embassies or cultural organizations)
  • Disseminate clear information to the entire university community explaining how the virus spreads and what precautionary measures should be taken. Providing medical information in multiple languages, such as Chinese or Italian, can also be a useful way to ensure that key messages reach affected students.
  • Encourage the student’s classmates to support the person. In France, a hashtag was created to prevent people with the virus from feeling lonely about it. This hashtag is #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus (I am not a virus), it has been a recent trend and it provides a good example for society.
  • Contact students who are unable to return to campus due to travel restrictions. Offer support in terms of academic extensions, deferrals, support fees, online study options when possible, travel or student accommodation
  • Maintain an institutional website with regularly updated material for your community of students and staff to help control narrative and manage information in one place.

Insist your students to comply with the Government’s recommendations

  • Continuous hand washing to avoid getting the virus. Remember that the virus can be found on some surfaces and when you contact the virus with your hand.
  • Cough or sneeze into the arm. In this way, the risk of contagion to other people through contact with the hands is minimized.
  • Stay at home: being at home today is the basic recommendation to beat the virus. The vast majority of countries that have been affected by the virus have already made the decision to force their citizens to wait at home for everything to happen.
  • Continuous cleaning of the room or accommodation in which you reside. It is important to disinfect the environment in which the student can be found.
  • It is also important to maintain the routine so that when it is necessary to return to the routine, you can be 100% as soon as possible. Try to do sports within the possibilities.
  • There are many more recommendations, although they are the most important.
Students Global Relocation

En conclusión, es necesario el apoyo a los estudiantes por parte de las instituciones educativas. Principalmente es necesario apoyar a los alumnos que se contagian, por las posibles consecuencias que pueden ocasionar. Hay que tener en cuenta la posible marginación del alumno contagiado y hay que reaccionar lo antes posible para que esto no suceda.

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