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Dmitry Zemtsov1, Ilya Yaskov1
  • 1 Far Eastern Federal University, 10 Ajax Bay, Russky Island, 690922 Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai, Russian Federation

Informal Student Groups in the Context of the COVID‑19 Pandemic

2021. No. 4. P. 97–116 [issue contents]
Dmitry I. Zemtsov, Vice President for Development, Far Eastern Federal University. E-mail: zemtsov.d@gmail.com (corresponding author)

Ilya O. Yaskov, Deputy Vice President for Development, Far Eastern Federal University. E-mail: iyaskov@gmail.com 

Address: 10 Ajax Bay, Russky Island, 690922 Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai, Russian Federation. 

Informal student groups in Far Eastern Federal University exhibited significant activity and received essential support from the university administrators during the COVID‑19 pandemic. Since the pandemic burst out, the number of informal student groups known to administrators has only increased, counterintuitively. Our findings show that the value of informal student groups for participants in the educational process is comparable to that of formal education programs, although participation in such groups is not part of any formal requirements or explicit societal demands. A series of interviews was conducted with members of informal student groups (a volunteer community, a group of medical volunteers, associations of engineering and information technology students), faculty members, and administrators. Analysis of interview transcripts shows that informal student groups can be considered valuable in the university corporation as a way of entering a profession, as a response to the implicit societal demand for “maturity” and agency development in students, and as a means of “appropriating” the learning environment and becoming a member of the university corporation. At the same time, a number of respondents perceive self-organization within student groups as generally and intrinsically valuable. Our findings show that informal student groups have an unspoken value in themselves, supported by an equally unspoken societal demand for “collectivist education”, which is yet to be discussed.
Citation: Zemtsov D. I., Yaskov I. O. (2021) Neformal’nye studencheskie obyedineniya v usloviyakh pandemii COVID‑19 [Informal Student Groups in the Context of the COVID‑19 Pandemic]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no4, pp. 97–116. https://doi.org/10.17323/1814-9545-2021-4-97-116
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