By the time you’re reading this report the Academic Board of the University, that is the top advisory body when it comes to academic matters, will have voted for or against a proposal that seeks to alter semester dates. This proposal plans to shorten semesters from 13 weeks to 12 weeks and extend the winter break so that semester 2 starts and ends later in the year.
The SRC has serious concerns about the impact that these changes will have on the student learning experience. Namely, students and staff will face increased pressure to achieve learning outcomes in a shorter period of time. While the university claims it has undertaken an extensive amount of consultation on this proposal, they have failed to consult and inform those who will be most effected by this change, the average student at University of Sydney. Student representatives across a number of different faculties have raised concerns with me regarding how this proposal will affect them and expressed their frustrations.
I know that some of you reading this are probably thinking that I’m making a mountain out of a molehill. “It’s only one week,” you’re thinking to yourself, “It can’t be THAT awful”, but the one week difference isn’t the biggest of our worries. What I’m most worried about is that this is just another step towards the restructuring of our university in a way that could drastically alter our education. This trend isn’t just restricted to Usyd, we’re seeing a number of universities implement a trimester model in restructures that have outraged students across the country. Regardless of if this proposal is passed or rejected by the Academic Board, we know that the landscape of our university is changing and I’m not sure if I can say that I believe its for the better.
If you’re worried about the future of your education, speak up and voice your frustration. Talk to your mates, your teachers or join the SRC’s education action group. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can get involved and like our facebook page www.facebook.com/usydsrc/ to stay up to date.