The Academic and Social Impact of COVID-19 Among College Students: Perspectives from the United States of America, Cameroon, Ghana, and Nigeria

Ernest Kaninjing, Ivette A. Lopez, Che Wankie, Elizabeth O. Akin Odanye, Roland N. Ndip, Yussif M. Dokurugu, Nicholas Tendongfor, Felix Amissah, Shelley White Means, Christopher Paul, Derrick L. Sauls, Helene Vilme


The novel coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) caused disruptions in the delivery of higher education around the globe. To understand how universities and students are dealing with the sudden change from in-person course delivery to online format, this cross-sectional mixed-method study aimed to (a) ascertain the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ ability to access online learning; (b) examine how college students adapted to changes in the learning/teaching environment; and (c) explore the students’ perspective on measures that institutions of higher learning could have adopted to ease the abrupt transition to online learning. Results indicate a majority of participants in the US reported access to internet and computers for off-campus learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. A little over half of participants from Africa reported internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic (82% of participants from Nigeria and 66.7% from Ghana). Participants from Cameroon reported the lowest percentage of access to online learning at 59.1%. Participants from Africa reported challenges in adapting to online format due to inadequate access to necessary technological resources such as a reliable internet and computer. Participants identified internal and external resources that could have been adopted to better deal with the transition to online learning. Institutions of higher learning can learn from their initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic to formulate and adjust policies that provide flexibility to effectively transition to online learning while catering to the social, educational and health needs of their students.

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Copyright (c) 2021 Ernest Kaninjing, Ivette Lopez, Che Wankie, Elizabeth Akin--Odanye, Roland Ndip, Yussif Dokurugu, Nicholas Tendongfor, Felix Amissah, Shelley White-Means, Christopher Paul, Derrick Sauls, Helene Vilme

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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