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Student Council furious over lesson-free time

14 weeks of education, yes. But this number includes two 'lesson-free' weeks at the University of Copenhagen, reveals Danish paper Politiken. While the Student Council is enraged, the Dean of Humanities calls it a non-story

The Student Council is »trembling with rage« because the University of Copenhagen has ‘artificially enhanced’ semester length by including lesson-free weeks in term time, according to their press release.

This is in response to an article posted on the Danish paper Politiken’s website, accusing the University of Copenhagen of deliberately making 12 weeks of education look like 14.

»It’s one thing to say that there are insufficient funds for more lesson time – that’s frustrating enough in itself for students with under five hours a week,« says the Chairman of the Student Council Bjarke Lindemann Jepsen. »But it’s simply embarrassing for the university to knowingly mislead people about the length of semesters« he says.

Lesson-free weeks ‘are to be used constructively’

In an e-mail to our Danish sister site,, the Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities Ulf Hedetoft denies that the department is trying to trick anyone.

He calls the Politiken article »an absurd summary of a non-event,« and has forwarded his correspondence with the journalist who published the original story.

»The two ‘lesson-free’ weeks you refer to can make sense and be used sensibly, as long as they do not constitute actual breaks, but are used constructively for course-purposes – for example through supervised essay-writing, group discussion etc.«

‘Routine does not equal quality’

He emphasises that quality cannot be measured on allocated lecture and seminar time alone:

»What matters to me is that the amount of lesson-time is on the up – tangibly so – but one cannot and should not rate a course based on routine hours of education per week.« /

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