Students, lecturers and support staff are concerned about the consequences of the new Extended Daytime Schedule that the Executive Board wants to introduce in September. This came up Monday evening during a meeting about the new schedule, initiated by the Student Council.
Photo: Guy Ackermans
Impulse was rather packed. The people present discussed the introduction of the Extended Daytime Schedule, in which lectures will be held from 8:20 to 19:00, a lecture lasts 40 minutes instead of 45 and breaks are shortened. According to the Executive Board, this is the best way to deal with the increasing number of students without investing in a new education building.
Monday evening was the first time the support staff expressed their thoughts about these plans. Herco van Gelder, who works in Orion, was the representative for the General, IT and Technical Support Services. ‘My working day starts at 6:45 with the preparation of the education rooms. Once the last lecture has ended, it takes at least another hour before the rooms are clean and ready for the next day. If the lectures would end at 19:00, it would mean I will not be home before eight. As it stands now, we do not have enough staff to fill the extra working hours. That would mean additional staff would have to be hired.’
The lecturers also came to the floor. Jessica Duncan, lecturer in Rural Sociology and teacher of the year, briefly presented her findings: ‘Lunchbreaks are too short in the new schedule. Lecturers use that time for meetings, social interactions with each other or students, and more. Students and lecturers also use the short breaks between lectures for individual discussions and additional explanations.’ In the new schedule, the lunchbreak will last 30 minutes and a tea break will be 10 minutes.
Another lecturer explained that lecturers need time to restructure their curriculum. Lectures and practical courses are currently aimed at timeslots of 45 minutes and it will take time to reorganise these lessons. The main question is whether that can be achieved before September and whether it will impact the quality of the education.
The main concern of the students is that the new schedule leaves fewer possibilities for social activities outside the study, as was once again made clear on Monday evening. Student councils expect they will lose the possibility of meeting during lunch breaks, as half an hour is simply too short. A new timeslot will be hard to find if the members have different study schedules. The activities of associations outside the study often start before seven o’clock, with dinner for example. Participating will therefore not always be possible with the new schedule.