The University of Malaya Students' Union (UMSU) has called on university administrators to consider the impact of burnout on students' mental health and lessen their workload
UMSU wrote an open letter to the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) yesterday, 11 July, to take note of the issue of burnout among students, especially those who are undergoing online distance learning (ODL).
This comes after the recent deaths of two Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) students due to extreme stress caused by their academic workload.
Prior to this, UMSU had only fought the issue at university level, but are now urging universities across the country to take action.
According to UMSU, students from numerous other universities have also requested for a change in their universities' approach pertaining to ODL
According to the letter, UMSU believes that relevant parties should not deny the voices of students who have raised the issue.
"Students have the right to voice issues that now affect their lives," UMSU said.
Their statement also calls for MOHE to take on a more authoritative role and intervene in universities' decisions.
Several proposals were also put forth by UMSU, including reducing students' workload, extending deadlines, and providing study breaks before final examinations
They called for lecturers to consider the viewpoints of students' when making academic decisions, especially when it comes to class assignments.
"All student representatives from other universities should speak up to their respective administrators about these issues," they said.
Finally, UMSU hopes that everyone, especially the government, takes the issue of students' mental health seriously, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
They added that they will not compromise with any party that tries to demean and deny the voice of students.
"Silencing this issue means that the lives of students are not taken into account," UMSU said.