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Revert the semesters to the previous term times
3 years ago
This is the first year that Falmouth University have run the new time table where the Summer Semester is reduced. This has been done to correlate with Exeter time table, however as the courses taught at Falmouth are coursework based this means that two terms of work have been condensed into one. This change is having a negative impact on many students across the courses offered at Falmouth as there is a significantly higher load of work that has to be squeezed into a shorter time period.
11:57am on 9 Apr 17
Having been working pretty much constantly since January now, and despite allowing myself breaks, I have been ill multiple times, both mentally and physically, because although I am getting what would be a manageable amount of work done for 12 weeks, the lack of formal breaks, such as reading weeks, means I have felt pressured to continue working when I have access to tutorials and lectures. I have felt burnt out and stressed faster than if the semesters hadn't been condensed.
10:46am on 10 Apr 17
Fine Art - This second term has been crazy busy and over too quickly. For a course which is designed around self directed study to suddenly be shortened drastically (on the basis of retaining the same taught time) is unacceptable. We need the extra time.
11:29am on 10 Apr 17
I fully support Sally with this proposition. This has meant shorter time spent for essays and dissertations, no reading week and a very odd two-week break for easter 3 weeks before the term ends (in the case of Illustration). I have had more people coming to me getting advice for ECs more than ever before. This new timetabling seems to be a proven failure. I move that we revert to the previous timetabling effective Sept 2017.
12:17pm on 10 Apr 17
This semester has been laid out in a weird fashion, lessons finished a month ago and Easter finishes a day before my final module hand in. We didn't have a reading week, and I'm compelled to stay at uni to work through my final module rather than to go home for easter
12:42pm on 10 Apr 17
Marine & Natural History Photography I also fully support this proposition. This semester has been a real stretch, as a natural history photographer I had planned my final year portfolio project years in advance, only for the university to throw a spanner in the works and say it is due in several weeks earlier than it had been in previous years. We had our last proper lecture weeks ago. We are still paying £9000 for the course and yet we have months of study time taken from us without anyone asking our opinions. Our student loan comes in after we have finished the course. Moreover printing has fallen during Easter, so I have had to finish the project today because many printing presses are closed over the holidays. Most people are unable to see their families for the Easter break.
1:02pm on 10 Apr 17
I support this. As a 3rd year student I have noticed the change as deadlines have been brought forward as a result. Therefore all our 1st semester hand ins were before Christmas (Dec 9th) and we did not return to lectures until Jan 23rd. Our dissertation hand in is April 26th (last year it was May 20th) which is 3 days after the end of the Easter Break and my supervisor is on holiday the week before hand in so no supervision is available the week before hand in.
1:06pm on 10 Apr 17
Acting - Our second term has been jam packed with stuff in too little time. We basically have no 3rd semester. There are two weeks on our timetable but it is not compulsory we attend, the lessons we have been given are for a bit of fun and experience. I am paying £9000 for the course and am only getting 2 semesters worth of education. We do not have a reading week at all in any of the semesters and a lot of students on my course in the 2nd semester were feeling very pressured and their mental health has deteriorated due to it. I feel cheated that I am paying for an education that is not even the full 3 semesters worth.
2:48pm on 10 Apr 17
BA Photography - We are paying £4500 (50%) of our tuition fee for our 3rd "term" of education which will come to an end by May 19th (1 hour of assessment feedback), just 3 weeks after the start of the term. That is unacceptable in the knowledge that they expect us to pay that much for such a short amount of time in actual education/tuition; as well as the fact that we only have one 3-hour lecture per week and one 1 hour tutorial with our tutor groups (and have done since september). I think, as practicioners, we should have more mandatory interaction with the lecturers, as well as another 2 months worth of actual tuition. £4500 for 3 weeks is BS
3:31pm on 10 Apr 17
It would be good to hear from some Fine Art students regarding this. I have been told by several Fine Art students that they had their end of year show in March and have already been "kicked out" of their studios. If anyone has any experience related to/regarding this please comment.
3:45pm on 10 Apr 17
Illustration- This semester I have had to undergo treatment for a long-term illness and return home unexpectedly. Although these events haven't taken much time out of my uni hours (about a week and a half) I still feel like they have made me fall behind on my course and I am having to stay here for Easter. This is particularly frustrating as I know that last year the deadline wasn't until June. I am not entirely happy with the work I've produced yet can't return to alter it as I don't have time. I am dreading third year as our dissertation has been condensed into semester 1 when we used to have until January to complete it. The condensed teaching time is placing an unnecessary strain on both staff and students and will lead to a lower standard of work produced and worse student welfare.
4:05pm on 10 Apr 17
3rd year Acting; this timetable means that I have officially completed all obligations to receive my degree 2 months earlier than previous years; we were also originally given 6 weeks to complete our dissertation between our module induction (the first information we received was at the end of January) and the deadline, which was only increased to 7 weeks after the majority of us complained that it wasn't enough time. People were also concerned that the Extenuating Circumstances deadline would be after graduation and anyone needing EC's would have to wait to graduate until 2018, despite the fact that there would be more than enough free time over and after Easter due to this new set up. As well as that, the AMATA festival - which consists of the final work of all 3rd year AMATA students - which usually takes place the last week of May has been split into two, the last week before Easter and the first/second week after Easter. This makes it difficult to plan, as people after Easter have two/three weeks where they aren't getting any academic support right before performing and those performing before easter have far less time to rehearse and prepare than in previous years.
4:19pm on 10 Apr 17
Creative Advertising - Our second term has been full of assessments and assignments in only a short space of time. Our third term is literally only one week long and then we are finished - meaning £3000 grand from our £9000 tuition fee for a term of one week! We are all paying £9000 for the course but only getting two full terms worth of teaching, what's even worse is that our fees are going up next year, meaning we are paying even more for such a short time of education. Unlike Exeter, we do not get reading weeks which means a significant amount of pressure is put on students which affect both physical and mental health, I personally have suffered mentally of this semester because of all the pressure. A lot of people feel very unhappy about having to pay £9000 for only 2 short terms of education.
7:02pm on 10 Apr 17
Third year Marine and Natural History Photography. Despite loving my course, this final year has stretched me mentally and physically as deadlines are a source of stress more than ever as a result of the terms being condensed. Though I managed to get ECs for my first portfolio, this set me back for others and I was unaware (until a lecturer told me) that if I got ECs for my mental health for the last project, I wouldn't be able to graduate until next year, which I believe is due to the shortening of terms AND the fact that graduation has been brought forward (though this could be wrong). On top of this, where Easter has fallen and our deadline is a couple of days after the holiday, my printing has had to be done and sent off by today rather than two weeks later. I can't go home and finish the rest of my work because the deadline is so soon after we get back, and because of a lack of reading week I barely see them at all as it is. I fully agree with everything the people above have mentioned about the monetary side of this too - paying £3000 for a couple of weeks at most for a term is insanity. Mostly what irritates me is that this change was implemented without speaking to the students - the people that this effects. It's a ridiculous change and as can be seen by the comments and the votes, is not one that benefits us or is supported by us in any way shape or form.
9:05pm on 10 Apr 17
Interior Design - This term has been so stressful for me and other course mates. Due to illness and death in my close family, along with suffering with my Mental Health I have got really behind with work. Now I only have my Easter break to catch up with everything, which is a break that I so desperately needed. I could have got ECs but this would have put me behind in my next term which is very important for 3rd year. This term structure leaves no time for illness or for anything to go badly, which inevitably will happen in life.
9:14pm on 10 Apr 17
I do fine art and I don't understand how it is fair to charge us for 3 terms of university when we only work for 2, when I applied for university I was told I'd have 3 terms...apparently that's all a lie. I was also told the other day by a tutor that my work would be marked to the same standard as years before who had many more weeks to work, how on earth is that fair?? at least mark us accordingly when the working term is drastically cut! In second year we were given about 3 weeks to do a dissertation proposal..other courses were given 3 months, shortly after we had an exhibition to put on, and shortly after our deadline for all of our studio work before Easter when exactly were we supposed to make this studio work?! I have no idea, I'm very angry and disappointed as I am not getting what I'm paying for!
9:44pm on 10 Apr 17
Couldn't agree more with this. There has been a huge feeling of disappointment and disadvantage on Fahion marketing. (Second year) We completely finished 2nd year on the 7th April. The amount of work having to be completed in significantly shorter amount of time compared to previous years has led to huge frustration and lower grades across the course. We don't even have a 3rd term let alone a short one, with a total of 11 weeks for both. I think this is disgraceful. I'm paying for 3, so I would like a very clear justification as to why I am now only getting 2. When I signed up to to pay £9,000 a year I never expected such a poor output from the university.
10:47pm on 10 Apr 17
I went to counselling because I've been overly stressed by my work load. Talking to the counsellor at Penryn campus she said she has heard many students complain about the same thing. It needs to be changed back, art is not the same as exam based uni courses, and this change is at the cost of the well being of students.
9:49am on 11 Apr 17
2nd Year Game Design - As a course that is expected to emulate working life, students are expected to be in 9-5, 5 days a week in the studios. Any work outside of the game module has to be done in evenings, weekends, reading weeks and half-terms. Not having this time has left me and many of coursemates burned out, with a ton of work over Easter and only one lecture in the third semester. Those breaks are essential for the well-being of all students. The financial burden of having one lecture in the third semester is a huge problem for many of us, putting us further into debt and pressuring many to pay for accommodation that they no longer need.
11:23am on 11 Apr 17
2nd year Illustration - The comments about the monetary burden of paying so much for so little raise an important consideration; that from a completely pragmatic perspective, we are paying for a service, and if the University administration continues to make decisions that negatively effect our education (the service we are paying for) why would we ever encourage others to come to Falmouth. Whilst I have loved my time here, and would currently recommend it immediately, I can't help but think what it will be like in the years to come when the University is far more crowded, tutors have less time, students get less contact and terms are shorter. It doesn't bode well for the future success of the University if they continue to make create an environment that isn't conducive to a good education (again, the service we should be receiving).
3:54am on 15 Apr 17
I feel unfulfilled with the first 2 terms on fine art. It feels like the 3rd term is non existent. Assessments have all been done and we lose our studio but we're told by tutors "the learning experience will continue" with free labour for a week (inconveniently placed after May Day) , and by using the workshops. However, the print room seems to be open for only 2 weeks (one of which is the week we're supposed to be helping 3rd years), and I don't think painting white walls white is really valuable. Fair enough that the 3rd years want help setting up, however, this shouldn't be painted as a wonderful learning experience. The whole 3rd term is 3 weeks long after the Easter break, right? 3 measly weeks? The uni has more money and more students than ever. I'm sure they could afford to extend their academic year a little bit.
9:06pm on 25 Apr 17
1st Year Game Design - I completely agree with Sally as well as fellow course mate Aymie Thompson. Our course boasts that it emulates working life, students are expected to be in 9-5, 5 days a week in the studios. Resulting on other modules work being left to our free time. As we know this was strangled by the new absurd decision to condense the terms. This left ALL students on the course worn out as well as having no time to assimilate what we had learned. The '3rd term' for me exists of a single lecture which is for an optional one-to-one session which takes place on a first come first served basis. Therefore knowing full well that students are not going to be in Falmouth for the '3rd term' and charging them for accommodation (£1000 in my case) is simply criminal. I emailed a lecturer on my course whom said that its normally very quiet as most students start their Summer jobs. This displays that Falmouth University knows full well that students won't be on campus. Your student satisfaction has been in improving over the past few years, good luck with this year as you will most certainly need it.
10:03am on 28 Apr 17
I've only just seen this but completely agree with it. Having 2 terms of solid work without break and then starting a 4 month summer in May seems ridiculous to me. Towards the end of each term of work in second year I've become stressed and overwhelmed - something that was not as much of a problem last year when we had longer a Christmas, Easter and reading weeks. I also feel that 4 months is a huge amount of time to fill in summer and would prefer that the academic 'year' was spread out more.
6:35pm on 30 Apr 17
The term change has meant that we had a month less on our dissertations, it meant that these were not double marked (as every academic writing should be). All course's dissertation deadlines clashed meaning facilities and support were under huge strain and could not support everyone. It has meant the third-year industry visit to London now clashes with the publishing industry's preparation for the Bolognia book fair. It also means that feedback we gained came too late for us to use before the end of out degree and final assessment. Students with extenuating circumstances in the last term have been prevented from graduating this year.
5:08pm on 2 May 17
3rd year sportswear design had to hand in our final work the day after the easter break, we've not been allowed into our studio since and my friend has been asked to make an application to use any of the machinery as we are now apparently unauthorised to use it. We are still paying a studio fee on top of our course fees and aren't even able to use our facilities. My last formal tutorial was 4th April and currently the only sessions planned in are for a show that FTI apparently don't have enough funding for. I'd much rather spend the last month of my university life getting advise on where to go next and how to get there.
4:21pm on 15 May 17
This idea was passed by the Leadership Team meeting on the 9th May, 2017, and allocated to FXU President Falmouth, Chris Slesser, to take forward.
10:12am on 2 Oct 17
Hello, this is Chris, your FXU President Falmouth-Following this feedback has been escalated to: Academic Board- this resulted in a review to identify tension points that had arisen from the calendar changes. The Director of each department was responsible for this dialogue with course teams and fed into the following board and the retention project. -Some courses have factored in a reading week to cope with reading lists, physical strain on performers bodies etc.… and course teams have reviewed course content to manage tension points. Retention Project- Alan Murray, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) led an institutional retention project of which the academic calendar was a key theme identified. Focus groups were held with students who identified that : -Strain on mental health around the deadline period -Strain on resources e.g. library, web printing around these aligned course deadlines. -Lack of content in January, post-Easter marking periods. -Lack of communication around the calendar which students said they felt unprepared. -Housing contracts not aligned to calendar. This resulted in- -Holistic image of the calendar is being created to properly communicate the structure of the year for undergrad and postgrad students. -Open Workshop Festival is in development to allow students to try workshop facilities across the entire University, allow movement between departments. Course content to ensure deadlines are not compressed. -Series of joined up campaigns in collaboration with FXU and Falmouth to support student stress and mental health throughout the year. -Much better communication with services about student deadlines to better prepare facilities to cope with the demand during these periods. -We’re still working on the housing contracts aligning to the calendar. If issues continue please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and feedback to your course reps, which will escalate formal feedback up to a departmental and senior level.
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