Division of Arts and Humanities: We Oppose the New Academic Year Proposal

 Staff in the Arts and Humanities oppose the 4X10 week academic year proposal. This proposal could be catastrophic for recruitment and staff working conditions in Arts and Humanities. A summary of our opposition is below:

1.     The proposal has examinations occurring in December, when students will have no time to revise after teaching and other assessments. This was so unpopular at Birmingham University that they have just had to undo their restructure, putting exams in January. 

2.              Very few universities in the UK (except Oxford & Cambridge) teach in the summer term with credit-bearing modules. It is burdensome and unpopular with students - who often need to work over the summer - so it will damage recruitment. 

3.              The proposal requires every degree programme, and every individual module specification to be rewritten into 20 credits. This amount of work is unfeasible for staff to undertake in the proposed timescale.  

4.              There are many other options available to restructure the academic year, and include assessment periods directly after the teaching term (eg January & May/June) without the need to adopt a 20-credit module structure, and continue teaching into June.

5.              Rolling out 100% compulsory modules for Stage One for all degree courses will kill recruitment in some Divisions, jeopardising all jobs.

6.              There has been inadequate consultation of staff, students and the recognised trade unions.

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