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HOW STUDENTS’ PERCEIVE VALUE OF THE HIGHER EDUCATION EXPERIENCE DURING THE CORONAVIRUS 19 CRISIS?

M. Gallarza 1, A.I. Rodrigues 2, R. Sanchez-Fernandez 3

1University of Valencia (SPAIN)
2Polytechnic Institute of Beja (PORTUGAL)
3University of Almería (SPAIN)
Any of us, no matter if we are students or teachers, could hardly envision that, in just a few weeks’ time, our traditional ways of learning and teaching would drastically change. The COVID19 crisis has pushed all stakeholders of the Higher Education (HE) ecosystem to adapt ourselves to a dreadful situation, which for sure has changed the perception we all have of our learning and teaching experience. But not necessarily into a worst situation.

Indeed, the COVID19 crisis has brought new unexpected challenges. The purpose of this work, explorative in nature, is to analyze students’ Perceived Value trade-off during the crisis, by using existing multidimensional framework of both positive and negative values applied to Higher Education (Gallarza, Seric & Cuadrado, 2017). More precisely, following classical works on Perceived Value (Holbrook, 1999), this study explores the changes perceived in different dimensions of the students experience during the crisis: non-monetary costs (time, effort, risk), and four groups of (potential) benefits: functional (online facilities, materials, platform usage, etc.), social (relationships with instructors, with other students, etc.), emotional (arising new emotions due to the confinement and the new ways of learning) and altruistic (perception of ethical value derived from the endeavor of teachers to cope with unexpected situation).

Being an explorative work, the method followed is through qualitative research based on content-analysis as a research technique that allows to make replicable and valid inferences from data to their context (Krippendorff, 1980) Two samples of students were chosen corresponding to:
Sample A. 18 students from international MBA program at University of Valencia, Faculty of Business (Spain), https://www.uv.es/imba. All students are international, mostly from US, and some of them had to come back to their home countries, while others stayed in Valencia.
Sample B. 20 Portuguese students from a Tourism Undergraduation Course at Polytechnic Institute of Beja.

Results are analyzed using webQDA (Web Qualitative Data Analysis), software which carries out qualitative data analysis individually or collaboratively, synchronously or asynchronously (Souza, Costa & Moreira, 2016) and discussed in terms of both sacrifices and benefits, allowing also comparisons among samples as students of both programs differ in terms of degree level (undergraduate or postgraduate), country (Spain or Portugal), nationality (US, Poland and India for Sample A and Portuguese for Sample B).

The findings of this paper are useful to better understand both the multifaceted and contrasted experience for students, and their unexplored skills (adaptation capacity, resilience,). All this knowledge is valuable for a better understanding of how value-co creation occurs in HE ecosystems.

References:
[1]BGallarza, M. G., Šerić, M., & Cuadrado, M. (2017). Trading off benefits and costs in higher education: A qualitative research with international incoming students. The International Journal of Management Education, 15(3), 456-469.
[2] Holbrook, M. B. (1999). Consumer value: A framework for analysis and research. London, UK: Routledge.
[3] Krippendorf, K. (1980) Content Analysis: An Introduction to Its Methodology. USA, The Sage CommText Series.
[4] Souza, F. N. de, Costa, A. P., & Moreira, A. (2016). webQDA - Qualitative Data Analysis (versão 3.0). Aveiro: Micro IO e Universidade de Aveiro. Retrieved from www.webqda.net