Science - February 2, 2006

Shorter lunch break in new schedule

The Executive Board has announced that starting in September, Wageningen University will operate on a 10-hour working schedule, just like Van Hall Larenstein. The changes could mean that some students and instructors will see their one-hour lunch break reduced by half.

With this decision the Executive Board is following the advice of the working group on organisation and scheduling, which proposed the new schedule to make more efficient use of classrooms and laboratories in the Forum building, where Van Hall Larenstein and the university will both be housed.
The new schedule consists of ten 45-minute periods, scheduled between 8.30 in the morning and 6.00 in the evening. It includes a 15-minute break between each period and a half-hour lunch break after the fifth hour. Mr Fred Jonker of the Education department helped design the new schedule: ‘The fifth hour will only be used to schedule classes that last three hours, and we will make sure that students and instructors won’t have to travel between the Forum building and the Dreijen during the lunch break. Compulsory programmes will also never be scheduled for more than four hours on any given morning or afternoon.’
The immediate response to the new schedule by the student union WSO was mildly positive. Chair Leonoor Akkermans: ‘It is understandable that these adjustments have to be made to prevent scheduling problems. I am especially glad that they didn’t schedule lectures in the evening, like in Utrecht and Amsterdam.’ / JH

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