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10 ways to graduate faster under new Study Progress Reform

Following a new government reform, students must get through university faster. Now a University of Copenhagen committee of management and students has published their plan

A committee of students and management has just presented 10 recommendations on how the University of Copenhagen should fulfil its obligations under the Study Progress Reform. The Study Progress Reform, or speed-up law, says that University of Copenhagen students must reduce their average period of study by 7.6 months before 2020.

The committee’s recommendations are so far only in Danish, but the University Post offers an unauthorised summary of their conclusions:

1.Be a full time student
A recent survey showed that students on average spend 28 hours week on their studies, which includes classes, preparation and homework. This now has to be 37 hours – equivalent to a full time job.

2.Introduction weeks for both undergraduate and Master’s students
Traditionally, only new Bachelor’s degree students can be sure to have some sort of introduction when they first set foot on campus. Now Master’s students will get equal treatment. Introduction weeks, which usually is a good blend of beer and academic information, are expected to build a stronger relation between students, strengthen the student environments and the individual student’s learning opportunities.

3.No more Kafkaesque study structures
When first starting a new education at UCPH, it is often difficult (read: unintelligible) to figure out what one’s options are for studying abroad, changing courses, specializing etc. The new ideal is that first day you set foot on campus, you will have a full map at your feet, showing you all the different paths you can take and where they lead to.

4.Realistic appraisals of course workload and ECTS
The committee wants to investigate if the courses behind the ECTS numbers fit the actual workload of the course. This is – of course – to make sure you study full time hours.

5.Windows of opportunities
… or actually, the less catchy ‘windows of mobility’. The committe wants to create the structural framework and merit policy that not only allows, but also awakens the ‘passions’ of the students to try out different things while studying. This includes internships, going abroad, taking courses on another faculty, or doing independent, “entrepreneurship” or “innovation” projects.

6.Application processing – now with deadlines
UCPH administration sometimes works in such a slow pace that it actually causes students to miss exams or important deadlines. Never willing to say just when you can expect an answer to your application for dispensation or merit, it is now decided that students are not to wait any longer than six weeks.

7.Better and forward-looking course descriptions
The study progress reform means that students cannot change the courses they enroll for and have to pass them. In order to help the students, they will now be able to find (better written) course descriptions online and find them in good time for planning; up to one or even two years before, instead of the current 4-5 months.

8.More summer school
Many students say they want more summer courses and summer schools at UCPH. They will now set up more summer programs with both elective and mandatory courses. And yes, you guessed it: to make students pace through school even faster.

9.Meet your professer outside class
Danish universities are not exactly characterized by strong student-professor relations. Most professor don’t even know the names of their students. The committee wants faculties to find a way for students to encouter their professors outside the classroom in the name of knowledge sharing. This can be informal coffee meetings or by giving professors more office hours for consultation.

10.More study and career guidance
Some groups of students (we shall name no names) are according to UCPH management not very well-briefed about their own career paths, to put it euphemistically. The solution is of course more guidiance right from the beginning on job opportunities and prospects. Also, students will be offered more guidiance on study techniques.

So that is it! This is the shorter version of what the full recommendation list which is in Danish on here (you need to be logged in).

The official report (in Danish) is also attached.

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