Background: The relevance of the COVID-19 pandemic-relevant research is seen in its contribution to the education system by offering strategies to overcome the challenges of the global education crisis caused by the coronavirus lockdown.
Purpose: The study aims to explore the undergraduate students’ perspectives, attitudes, and readiness about education and its value during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Design/methodology/approach: The research methodology is based on a free word association experiment, revealing the national and cultural specifics of the images of consciousness of speakers of a specific language community and culture. The study was conducted among the representatives of Russian linguistic culture, and the data obtained from the study were comprehensively analyzed by defining the frequency ratio of reactions and determining the core-periphery relationship between them.
Findings: The study results showed that the educational process during the COVID-19 pandemic was perceived by the students as an unproductive multitask study based on an unfamiliar methodology lacking control, with the reduction and disruption of classes. The healthcare crisis caused significant emotional, social, behavioural, and academic challenges to the system of higher education and its stakeholders and resulted in the upheaval of the educational system instruction.
Conclusion: The implications of the study can be considered in offering the opportunity to and possibilities caused by the shift in education during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its value is seen in proposing strong contributing factors to overcoming the impacts of the pandemic and supportive measures of education administration.
Keywords: free association experiment, education during the COVID-19 pandemic, the value of education, Russian linguistic consciousness, students’ perceptions.