Union officers challenge university over extended teaching hours

Monday 30-07-2018 - 15:19
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The union’s Full-Time Officer team has challenged university management over proposals to extend teaching hours in a trial starting next term.

University senior management last week announced plans to extend the teaching day to 7pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

The university says the trial is necessary to cope with additional demand for teaching space caused by increasing student numbers.

But union officers say students have not been appropriately consulted on the proposals and fear that the change will have wide-ranging negative effects, including:

  • Reduction in room availability for student societies and sports teams
  • Difficulties for students with caring responsibilities
  • Extended working hours for students with teaching responsibilities
  • Difficulty booking space for student events and activities
  • Longer days for students who commute
  • Impact on students who rely on paid employment to support their studies

In a letter to university management last week, officers said: “A fulfilling university experience is more than just courses and teaching time; involvement in sports, activities and opportunities not only develop important skills for life but also are crucial for maintaining a healthy work/life balance and fulfilling wellbeing needs.

“Furthermore, the clear majority of students that access our Advice service cite poor mental health as an underlying factor in their ability to progress or do well in their studies. Our research and feedback from students has highlighted that maintaining the work-life balance is a real struggle, and is especially difficult for those who are on low income, or who have a disability. We believe that the proposed timetabling changes will exacerbate these problems.”

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