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Students of English to get their eight-hours-a-week

Twice as many lessons to Master’s students of English, as new programme is put through the system

Future students of English can look forward to eight teaching lessons a week instead of the present four. This is according to minutes released by the Department of English, Germanic and Romance board of studies on the University’s site The new curriculum will be actually implemented from 1 September 2013.

Students blockaded the department last year over conditions, including too few course hours, in March 2011. Read our coverage of the protests here.

»Four lessons per week cannot be regarded as a satisfactory offer,« the Board reports in the released minutes from meetings just before the summer vacation.

Better chances for employment

The new curriculum with more teaching hours is a reaction to »huge pressure in the last couple of years to secure more teaching to the students – from students, politicians, and higher management,« admits the Board in the minutes.

Students will now attend four courses of 7.5 ECTS-credits per semester. The previous system gave 15 ECTS-credits a course.

On the plus side, for new students, they will be able to »document a much broader set of qualifications than now, and therefore also be able to appeal to a broader spectrum of job opportunities,« explains the Board.

Fears of devaluation

The Board itself points to a potential problem with the new curriculum. It could suggest that current students under the old curriculum are being offered »a half MA-degree.«

However, »with an eight-hour programme, we will be in line with international standards… it will make our MA-degrees more reliable and competitive,« the Board states.

The new curriculum will be handed in before 1 September 2012 to the Faculty of Humanities for final approval, according to the Board, saying that it is fine with a “quickly developed version” of the new curriculum, as it will only improve the quality of the degree, and the funding is actually available at the moment to carry out such changes.’

Student: I do not fear changes

According to Martin Myrup, currently taking his MA-degree in English by the old curriculum, the changes are welcome, but will make no real difference to job opportunities.

»Well, fewer hours of teaching at the university does make us more independent, but a lot is also lost with it. I mean, you just don’t have enough time to study it all by yourself« Martin Myrup tells University Post.

»But when it comes to future employment, I do not feel that employers will treat me as less educated because I am studying by the old curriculum« Martin admits, »from my experience employers only look at whether you have a Master’s Degree. They don’t actually go and look deeper into how many hours of education you’ve received«.

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