Blogger Jan-Willem is not too happy with the ACT and thinks it could be done in a single afternoon.
Everyone is confronted with the ACT (or a variant thereof) at some point during their master’s. The Academic Consultancy Training, as it is fully spelled out, is no more than an eight-week long course on group work and could be done in a single afternoon during the introductory course of your bachelor’s programme. There are quite a few interesting things in the ACT, but nothing worth of a master’s course. When you start a master’s, you are already expected to possess all the skills the ACT teaches: writing a research proposal, setting learning outcomes, efficient approach to meetings, proper planning and distributing tasks.
At the end of the past academic year, the enrolment requirements (what courses you must have passed before you may start) for the ACT have been set. Nothing had previously been agreed upon. Most study advisers told you anything they came up with and kept to a minimum of 24 ECTS passed and 36 attended, but there was no factual minimum in the Education and Examination Regulations. The university wanted to formalise these requirements, but the Student Council impeded that, on the basis of there not being any mandatory prerequisite knowledge at master’s level to be able to follow the ACT. And the council was right to notice.
The prerequisite knowledge was eventually set at ‘a mere’ 12 credits. As a consequence, one of the coordinators of the ACT threw the towel and stepped down as coordinator. He is of the opinion that the ‘level’ can no longer be kept high if everyone can start the ACT this early in their master’s. Well… Apparently, the university did not mind and lowered the enrolment requirements after the Student Council’s protest. The ACT does not seem that important after all.
As far as I’m concerned, we will henceforth do the ACT in a single afternoon and use the 9 ECTS thus freed for interesting master’s courses. And when we cease the two compulsory workshops (MOS) as well, there will be time and space for two fully fledged master’s courses that will guarantee to raise the value of your master’s degree. Students who really don’t want to miss out on the ACT party could always follow it as an optional course. Who am I to take away their pleasure.