News - May 29, 2017

University Council opposes quick implementation of extended study schedule

Albert Sikkema

The University Council rejected the quick implementation of the Extended Daytime Schedule for the education in Wageningen. The Student Staff Council (SSC) demands that the Executive Board postpone the introduction by a year to meet the additional requirements of students and staff.

Photo: Guy Ackermans

On 24 May, the SSC met to discuss the extended schedule. Only two out of sixteen councillors voted for an implementation of the schedule as of September of this year. Most councillors chose the ‘no, unless’ option, for which they drafted eight requirements that the implementation of the new schedule would have to meet.

The council argues that the adjustment of the lessons from 45 to 40 minutes would cost time in the next few months. The council also deems that the lecturers and course coordinators will not have enough time to apply the changes in an appropriate manner. Additionally, the council deems that the conversion of the current schedule to one with more and shorter lecture blocks will require additional support from the department for education in the next year. The council also set the requirements that students of all programmes may only have lecture until 19:00 twice a week, at most, and lectures given after 17:00 must be recorded to allow students to follow them at other times.

Lunch breaks
The council also pleads for at least two ample lunch breaks per week, in order to allow students and lecturers to meet around lunch and be able to plan activities. Furthermore, the schedule should not lead to split shifts for the support staff, there should be an independent investigation on how many additional lecture hours this schedule will truly realise and the implementation of the schedule should be postponed by a year. The most important reason for this postponement: a quick implementation in the next months would lead to additional work pressure and stress for the lecturers and support staff, who are already very busy as it is.

Part of these requirements, such as the ones pertaining the shifts and breaks, had already been agreed on by the Executive Board during the meeting on 24 May.

A minority of the councillors were against the extended schedule, but a majority will eventually agree to the implementation of the schedule as of September 2018, if the board meets the abovementioned requirements.

The Student Council had already decided on 23 May that they would not agree to the implementation of the extended schedule as of 2017.