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Six months less for students of the humanities

Students at the Faculty of Humanities now have only 2.5 years to complete their Master's as political pressure mounts to rush delayed students into completing their degrees

The maximum allowable duration for completing a Master’s degree in the Faculty of Humanities (HUM) has been reduced from 3 years to 2 ½ years. This change comes in light of political pressure from the government to improve the efficiency within universities, including University of Copenhagen.

“The humanities MA program is currently the slowest in the country. As such, greater pressure is upon us to rectify this situation” says Jens Erik Mogensen, the Associate Dean for Education at HUM.

While the official duration for a Master’s program (MA) is 2 years, it currently takes students at HUM an average of 4 years to complete their MA. According to the statistics of the academic year 2009/10, 651 of 2100 are currently delayed. Up to 65 of MA students are unresponsive and inactive, with the administration terminating their enrollment.

Steps to Take

These delays in completion of the degrees are a sign of inefficiency in the department. While the entire UCPH is under intense pressure from politicians to improve its efficiency, HUM, is under particularly heavy fire. UCPH has a goal of reducing its study duration by a total of 7.5 months by the year 2020. However, HUM aims to reduce the duration by 10 to 12 months over the next 5 years.

“To successfully achieve this goal, the university has to create a more inviting and productive environment to encourage students to commit to longer hours on campus. We are targeting at least 37 hours a week of classes per student, which is the duration of the average working week” Jens Erik continues.

Pursuant to this, the administration came up with a set of 11 steps by which to achieve this reduction. They include improving teaching to ensure more contact with teaching faculty, more compatible course combinations and study plans, closer thesis monitoring, among others. Importantly, the school environment will be improved with introduction of incentives to encourage students to spend more time on campus.

Coming into effect

The steps outlined within the document require further financial investment in the short term. However, this investment may prove profitable and cost-efficient in the long run.

While many of the changes will begin in the near future, only students enrolled after the 1st of August 2013 will be affected by the new duration guideline changes. All current students, will not be affected. They still have the right to extensions of up to three years.

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