Three actions for every member – deadline 19th October:
- Register your opposition to the proposed new academic year via this link AND the official email address:
Consider the talking points below, but write in your own words.
- Personally email the entire project team: Richard Reece, Ben Cosh, Rachel Macphee and Eddy Hogg:
- Table a version of this all-staff motion (check email for link) at your next school or Divisional meeting (English, History & CLAS are already scheduled to vote on it).
EG have hugely damaging plans to force through a new academic year – forcing staff to teach for longer and redesign the entire curriculum.
Management are trying to rush this proposal though without proper consultation or consideration from all areas of the university.
Here are some reasons why the Kent UCU committee are opposing the current academic year proposal:
- The proposal has examinations occurring in December, when students will have no time to revise after teaching and other assessments. This was so unpopular at Birmingham University that they have just had to undo their restructure, putting exams in January instead.
- Very few universities in the UK (except Oxford & Cambridge) teach into the summer term with credit-bearing modules. Therefore, this proposal at Kent is a massive financial risk, as recruitment in certain areas could suffer catastrophically if students opt out of studying at Kent due to their summer term requiring attendance for 10 weeks at teaching events. This proposal is too high-risk financially and would single out Kent in the sector.
- The proposal requires every degree programme, and every individual module specification to be rewritten into 20 credits. This amount of work is unfeasible for staff to undertake in the timescale.
- There are many other options available to restructure the academic year, and include assessment periods directly after the teaching term, without the need to adopt a 20-credit module structure, and continue teaching into June. ‘Semesterised’ models such as those at Queen Mary & Kings are worth considering and will require far less work to implement.
- This is an unworkable model built around data entry for grades. Select areas that overwhelmingly want to change can make adjustments. But EG simply want to chain staff to their desks, to undermine flexible working and EDI considerations and to elongate the period of overwork.
- Rolling out 100% compulsory modules for Stage One for all degree courses will kill recruitment in some Divisions, it runs contrary to academic freedom, and has staffing implications.
EG want to impose this new proposal for the 2025 academic year, with decisions approved in Senate and elsewhere as early as 8th November 2023. You need to register your opposition now.