News - June 30, 2016

Two thousand students to get evening lectures

Text:
Albert Sikkema

The plan for the pilot with evening lectures is ready. About 2000 students will get lectures, PC practical courses or group work after 18.00 between September and January. An external agency will evaluate students’ opinions.

<photo: In May students protested against Wageningen University’s plans for evening classes.>

The trial with evening lectures will take place in the first two terms of the coming academic year. In the first term, seven lecture courses, four PC practicals and two courses with group work will be scheduled for Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evenings. Most courses will end at 20.00, but one or two will continue until 20.45. First-years will not have any evening lectures in the first term.

The courses have been selected in such a way that virtually no one will have two evening courses during the pilot, says Gerlinde van Vilsteren of Corporate Education, Research & Innovation, who set up the trial. ‘And there won’t be any lab work in the evening.’

The evening lectures have deliberately not been scheduled for Friday evening, says Van Vilsteren. There won’t be any lectures on the Thursday evenings either in the first term; that happened to work out best for practical reasons.

Students, teachers, study associations and student societies will be able to give their opinion about the evening lectures in a survey after the trial ends. The societies can for example say whether the evening teaching affected their activities.

The university wants to learn from the pilot, says Van Vilsteren. ‘On the one hand, evening lectures increase flexibility and give people more choice. Students can combine optional courses more easily if they are in the evening. It’s also easier to get guest lecturers for evening slots.’ On the other hand, many students are critical of the evening lectures as this might put pressure on their sporting activities and involvement in societies. ‘The aim of the pilot is to get experience that the Executive Board can then take into account in its decision making.’