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Comment: Has anyone seen my full time education?

If you have 12 hours of preparation for each lesson there is no incentive to actually study full time, writes the Student Council's Laura Kofod. Danish universities need to offer more class time

When I’m not working at the Student Council, I am taking a Master’s in Political Science. I’m happy with my field of study and it often presents exciting literature and inspiring teachers. But it is not a full-time study. The latest survey of students’ satisfaction shows that students on average study 28 hours a week. Of course that covers over large fluctuations, but it would not surprise me if many of my fellow students have difficulty getting a 37-hour study week.

Read the article Survey: Students only study 28 hours a week.

What is full-time?

At the bottom of all the course descriptions is an estimate of how many hours you spend on the course. In political science , we have 10 ECTS points subjects , which should take 275 hours of work, in accordance with the Bologna process’ international standards of education.

This means a full-time semester is 825 hours of work. When it is distributed over the 14 weeks semester at the Department of political science, it gives an average workload of 42 hours per week, not including an examination burden of 79 hours. Pretty far from the average of 28 hours study per week.

So something must be wrong.

168 hours preparations for 14 lessons

That something shows up as soon as you look a little closer at the time sheets set up by the University.

For me and probably most of my fellow graduate students in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences a 10 ECTS points subject is not more than 28 hours tuition. Which means that as a student, according to the University’s calculation, will need 12 hours of preparation for each class. There is rarely an expectation that I do assignments, essays, etc. between classes so the 12 hours is all reading. If some students use half of this time and still turn up well prepared, it will not surprise me.

My education programme is underfunded

At the moment my education programme lacks the resources to be a full-time study.

If you want students to come through their education properly without stress, you have to allocate the necessary resources primarily in the form of more class hours where there is the least now.

4 class hours a week to 10 hours preparation would give more realistic conditions. This which would increase the students’ workload and make for a better study environment.

But other initiatives to support a quality education are also needed. There should be time for professors to provide guidance and smaller assignments during the process – so that theory and knowledge were put into play regularly, and not only at the exams.

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