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Intro + Con draft

Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1 Orientation
In early 2020, the Covid first outbreak in Wuhan, China, then rapidly spread into
the rest part of China. So far (25th.Aug) Chinese government’s official number
of Covid related death is 5,226 (JHU CSSE COVID-19 Data), however,
according to a study written by scholars whom affiliated with China’s Centre for
Disease Control and Prevention, only in Wuhan there were 13400 people
excess death during January to March in 2020(Liu et al., 2021). Thus, the
difference between official number of death toll and academic research number
imply that Covid caused server impact on Chinese people’s well-being than
what the news reported.
Moreover, Covid rapidly spread in global and caused a significant impact on
people. In Europe, so far, the total covid related death was over 2 million. And
the in the UK, the total death per 100000 population is 276.58, one of the
highest in Europe (WHO, 2022).
According to the Lancet, the real Covid-related death toll by 31st.Dec was
around 18 million. That number is three times higher than the official death toll
number from governments (Wang, 2022). The death number is appalling, it is
the biggest public health crisis human ever faced in this century.
In order to curb the spread of the pandemic, governments of various countries
and WHO have been studying and formulating a series of measures, such as
vaccines and antivirus medicines. Undoubtably, before the rollout of vaccines
and medicines, lockdown was an effective measure to curb the surge of cases
(Smyth and Elliott, 2021).
This policy has been widely used in many countries, although the specific
lockdown measures vary from country to country. In Asia, the restrictions are
generally stricter than the west, for instance, in China, where lockdown policy
is very harsh, included forbidden go out the neighbourhood, temporarily closed
all companies and restaurants, malls, factories, schools etc (Graham-Harrison
and Kuo,2020). On the contrary, in the west, restrictions were looser. For
example, in England there were 5 level restriction systems, and the levels
moved along with infectious rate. And even in the strictest lockdown period,
people were still allowed to go outdoors have one exercise a day, allowed to go
to shops for life's essentials. Only limited higher levels regions’ residents travel
to lower level regions (Johnson, 2021).
However, although policies are different, the essential of this policy was restrict
the public gathering and traveling; shutting down the non-essential shops;
quarantine at home if people are test positive; in the severe time, schools also
closed (Koh, 2022).
After a period of lockdowns, the outcomes were relatively successful. The
infectious rate and death rate, admission rate had declined in many countries
by lockdowns. Nevertheless, lockdown still triggered a number of negative
effects on the public, mainly in financial aspects, mental health, physical activity,
social support (Brown et al. 2021). A children welfare organisation found out
lockdown sparked young people committing to suicide because their mental
health deteriorated. During the lockdown, some of them had to live with their
abusive parents who addicted to drugs and alcohol (McLaughlin,2022).
University students, as a vital part of the public, also hit harshly by lockdowns.
They are in their very early stage in their adulthood, they lack of experiences of
coping distress, and lack of mature social network, and they are also under so
much pressure from hectic university works. Chinese students as a community
overseas student, whom saddled more negative influences due to language
barrier and culture difference.
Nevertheless, because there is not enough of understanding of their needs,
and lack of student representative member in Students’ Representative Council,
thus they are a substantial community neglected by mainstream.
Therefore, it's necessary to understand their experiences amid lockdown and
how it has affected them on academic performance, mental health, social
interactions, in order to better formulate lockdown measures and how to deal
with future crises.
Key terms
The definition of lockdown is “a period of time in which people are not allowed
to leave their homes or travel freely, because of a dangerous disease”
(Cambridge Dictionary).
Mental health consists of people’s emotional, psychological, and social
wellbeing. It influences how people think, feel, and behave. Additionally, it
influences how people deal with stress, interact with people, and make good
decisions (WHO, 2022).
Social interaction is a dynamic, altering chain of social activities between
humans or groups who adapt their behaviours and reactions in response to
their interaction partner's actions (Chen, Caropreso, & Hsu). In this research, it
focuses on students’ friendship and network.
Academic performance refers to the level to which students has met their short
or long-term educational objectives. Academic performance is represented by
educational standards such as bachelor's degrees, master’s degrees, Doctor’s
degree (Ward, Stoker and Murray-Ward, 1996). In this research, the academic
performance was measured by students’ grades and their subjective studying
1.2 Research Objective and Questions
The main purpose of this research is to explore the experiences of the COVID19 lockdown from the perspective of Chinese international students in Glasgow,
The research questions include:
How Chinese international students perceive the measure of the COVID-19
What are the impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on their academic
performance, mental health, social interaction?
1.3 Research Design
This research conducted qualitative research design, because the aim is
discovering students’ perception and experience. This research used a semistructured interview method based on the interpretivist research philosophy.
This research used snowball sampling method as approach to collect data. The
researcher recruited 9 participants and conducted face-to-face interviews,
extracted main themes and information by thematic analysis method.
More details of methodology will be elaborated in Chapter 3.
1.4 Thesis Structure
This article’s main text will set out as 6 chapters. The first chapter is Introduction,
which is the one you are reading. The second chapter will be Literature Review,
it summarises the current literatures, and states the gaps. The third chapter will
be Methodology, it described how the researcher discover the Findings; what
method and methodology did the researcher use; justifications of why used
them. The fourth Chapter will be Findings and Discussions. Findings presents
the samples of data the researcher collected, and summarise them. Discussion
discussed what this study found in relation to the literature review, and
discussed what extend did this fill the gap.
5.1 Overview of this research
The global Covid outbreak was devastating. The Lancet estimates that 18
million people died from Covid by December 31. Three times the official death
toll (Wang, 2022). Various countries and WHO were developing vaccines and
antiviral drugs to stop the pandemic. Before vaccinations and treatments,
lockdown was an efficient way to reduce cases (Smyth and Elliott, 2021).
The infectious rate and death rate, admission rate has declined in many
countries by lockdowns. Nevertheless, lockdown still had triggered a number of
negative effects on the public, mainly in financial aspects, mental health,
physical activity, social support (Brown et al. 2021).
Lockdowns severely impact university students, who are an important segment
of the general population. They are in the very early stages of maturity, lack
social skills and a developed social network, and are also under a lot of stress
from their demanding academic workloads. Chinese students, a community of
international students, are burdened with greater harmful effects because of the
linguistic and cultural divide.
However, they are a significant population that the mainstream ignores since
there is not adequate knowledge of their needs and no student representation
in the Students' Representative Council.
This study found that lockdown did have a negative impact on how well students
studied and how much they really retained, but it did not prevent them from
receiving excellent scores. The findings indicate that because of lockdown,
students had some difficulty retaining friendships and greater difficulty building
new networks. The study finds out almost half of participants did not have any
depressive symptoms amid lockdown, the rest of them had different extends of
lonely and depression conditions.
5.2 Theoretical contribution
It fills the research gap of the existing literature on Covid and lockdown. The
previous academic studies do not have any article focusing on any particular
international student community’s well-being amid lockdown. Thus, this study
could fill this gap.
5.3 Practical contribution
On the one hand, this study could provide policymakers and departments of
Disease Control with an insight into the impact of the lockdown on Chinese
students and their feelings, in order to better improve the policies if similar
public crisis occurs in the future.
On the other hand, it also provides some systematic understanding for
university administrators so that they can better understand the difficulties and
crises encountered by Chinese students in the face of lockdown. And if similar
crisis happened again in the future, they could learn some experience from this
research, make more considerate policies to support international students.
5.4 Limitations and Future Research
Although the data in this study are saturated, the conclusions may only apply
to Scotland. Since the lockdown measures vary from countries and regions, so
it is necessary to further understand how Chinese students in other places
perceive about the lockdown and how these different lockdown measure impact
them in different ways. so as to get a more comprehensive understanding.
Because this study only focused on academic performance, social interaction
and mental health, the effects of lockdown on other aspects of Chinese
students were not understood. In addition, this research found out mental health,
academic performance, social interactions are not 3 different dependent
variables with lockdown (Independent variable). These 3 can affect each other,
for instance, lack of social interactions could trigger mental health issues;
mental health issues could worsen academic performance.
Therefore, future research can further consider the impact of the lockdown on
their other factors such as physical wellbeing, work-live balance, finical situation.
Moreover, future studies could investigate how these different factors affect
each other, rather than only investigating how lockdown affect these factors.
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