Wageningen University’s 12,000 students have relatively few complaints about the new Extended Daytime Schedule. Student party Veste’s contact point received 50 complaints in the past three months.
The plans for a new schedule have caused quite a commotion in the student community over the last few years. The student parties in the WUR council objected to the new schedule right up until its introduction last September. Now it is in place, however, students are not complaining en masse.
Most of the 50 complaints were submitted in September, at the start of the academic year. Students mainly complain about the big gap between morning lectures and afternoon ones. That is particularly irritating for students who don’t have a room and are commuting to campus. They find there are not always enough seats in the library or the canteens during the long break. This was already a problem in previous academic years, before the extended schedule was introduced, but it seems to have become even more of an issue, say Aniek de Winter and Leonie Braks van Veste. They manage Veste’s info desk about the new schedule.
Not on time
A second common complaint is that lecturers do not always finish their lectures on time now the periods have been reduced from 45 to 40 minutes. That means the breaks between blocks of lectures are shorter, and some students say they are less able to concentrate as a result. Veste has brought these complaints to the attention of WUR’s Education & Student Affairs (ESA) department.
The student societies have a problem with the fact that the new schedule does not really have a standard lunch break for all students in which students can hold meetings, for example. But there have been virtually no complaints to Veste about this, say De Winter and Braks. They think the number of complaints gives a good indication of students’ feelings. ‘We have also talked to students and the societies about the schedule,’ says Braks. Complaints can still be reported throughout the year to the ‘EDS contact point’ on Veste’s website.
It will become clear next month whether Wageningen’s lecturers have any problems with the schedule. ESA is preparing a survey. ESA will also be carrying out an analysis of the effects of the Extended Daytime Schedule after each term. WUR Council will use this to evaluate the schedule at the end of the academic year.