Plans for University of York to adopt semester system

PLANS are afoot to change the way the University of York runs its academic year.

It would mean the university – which has more than 15,000 students and about 3,000 staff – working on an American-style semester system, consisting of two 15-week semesters instead of the current three three-month terms.

Kallum Taylor, president of the University of York Students’ Union (YUSU), said if given the go-ahead the move could have a big impact on student life.

A university spokeswoman said departments were being consulted on the possibility of moving to a semester structure and no decision had yet been made.

She said: “The consultation is in response to problems identified with issues such as programme structure, exam timing and workload.

“For example, problems include the current unequal length teaching periods, which mean there is a difference between student workloads in different terms and different programmes. There is also a heavy staff workload for marking and teaching in early spring.

“Departments are being asked to comment on which of two options is best for their programmes, students and staff: retaining the current structure of the academic year or implementing two equal 15-week teaching and assessment periods per year, ie two semesters.”

A university spokesperson said it was too early to say whether any changes would affect jobs.

She said: “There is no direct link between a possible move to a system based on semesters and changes to staffing levels. We are consulting on a range of possibilities and further comment at this stage would be premature.”

Mr Taylor said: “No decision has been made yet, and the conversation about the matter hasn’t taken place outside a handful of standard calendar meetings.

“We’ll be hoping to run a detailed, clear referendum next term on the matter to give YUSU a proper stance on the issue, as currently opinion is split in a variety of ways.

“Even if we were to go down the semesterisation route, we don’t yet know which form it will take as it can be implemented in several ways.

“It’s a potentially huge move for the university, and will impact on absolutely everything to do with it, from the classroom to staff terms and conditions, and even how our sports team and societies work.”

Any proposal to adopt the semester system would, if passed, take effect in the academic year 2015/16.

Comments (11)

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9:08am Sat 16 Feb 13

clm058 says...

Welcome to the 53rd State in the USA as usual these days we are following like lost sheep
Welcome to the 53rd State in the USA as usual these days we are following like lost sheep clm058

9:10am Sat 16 Feb 13

gmc_1963 says...

semesterisation - good word !
semesterisation - good word ! gmc_1963

9:24am Sat 16 Feb 13

burble says...

clm058 wrote:
Welcome to the 53rd State in the USA as usual these days we are following like lost sheep
The US has 50 states, not 52.
[quote][p][bold]clm058[/bold] wrote: Welcome to the 53rd State in the USA as usual these days we are following like lost sheep[/p][/quote]The US has 50 states, not 52. burble

9:35am Sat 16 Feb 13

NoMorePlease says...

gmc_1963 wrote:
semesterisation - good word !
Russia also widely uses a two term semester system, as does many countries
[quote][p][bold]gmc_1963[/bold] wrote: semesterisation - good word ![/p][/quote]Russia also widely uses a two term semester system, as does many countries NoMorePlease

9:48am Sat 16 Feb 13

Garrowby Turnoff says...

Will there be a 22 week holiday in between the two terms? Imagine the kids home from uni for 5½ months.

£20K in student debt for being at home half the time. Dad, can I borrow £20 for a pint? Dad, Dad, Dad...
Will there be a 22 week holiday in between the two terms? Imagine the kids home from uni for 5½ months. £20K in student debt for being at home half the time. Dad, can I borrow £20 for a pint? Dad, Dad, Dad... Garrowby Turnoff

9:56am Sat 16 Feb 13

Alpha Kenny Thing says...

Bloody stupid idea.
Bloody stupid idea. Alpha Kenny Thing

2:11pm Sat 16 Feb 13

only human says...

Why do we have this adoption of USA terminology thing going on.whats it all about.Lets face it the Yanks took the English language and massacred it beyond recognition.
We recently had the pleasure of having a 23 year old teacher from Illinois Stay with us over christmas as she is a good friend of my daughter,they met whilst both studying abroad in Mexico.
She is a very pleasant and mild mannered lady and was as curious of out language as we were of hers.She was saying how she would prefer the UK system of terms at Uni and schools as the semester system leaves them with almost 50% of the year free and it makes it difficult to keep continuity and interest going within their profession.
Garbage-trash------r
ubbish
tires-tyres
comforter--duvet
pitcher-jug
cell fone---mobile phone
pants-trousers

seriously its a wonder we didnt need to hire a translater..However we had a great time together and she was eager to pick up some real Yorkshire slang terms such as,"put wood int ole"
"let the dog see the rabbit" "you make a better door than a window"
Why do we have this adoption of USA terminology thing going on.whats it all about.Lets face it the Yanks took the English language and massacred it beyond recognition. We recently had the pleasure of having a 23 year old teacher from Illinois Stay with us over christmas as she is a good friend of my daughter,they met whilst both studying abroad in Mexico. She is a very pleasant and mild mannered lady and was as curious of out language as we were of hers.She was saying how she would prefer the UK system of terms at Uni and schools as the semester system leaves them with almost 50% of the year free and it makes it difficult to keep continuity and interest going within their profession. Garbage-trash------r ubbish tires-tyres comforter--duvet pitcher-jug cell fone---mobile phone pants-trousers seriously its a wonder we didnt need to hire a translater..However we had a great time together and she was eager to pick up some real Yorkshire slang terms such as,"put wood int ole" "let the dog see the rabbit" "you make a better door than a window" only human

3:59pm Sat 16 Feb 13

PlanetTea says...

clm058 wrote:
Welcome to the 53rd State in the USA as usual these days we are following like lost sheep
Clearly they are considering this for the sake of the students and not in order to be more like the Americans. This is York for goodness sake, we are pretty **** backward here (and I wouldn't say thats a bad thing either). So rest assured, I don't think we are about to morph into yanks just yet...
[quote][p][bold]clm058[/bold] wrote: Welcome to the 53rd State in the USA as usual these days we are following like lost sheep[/p][/quote]Clearly they are considering this for the sake of the students and not in order to be more like the Americans. This is York for goodness sake, we are pretty **** backward here (and I wouldn't say thats a bad thing either). So rest assured, I don't think we are about to morph into yanks just yet... PlanetTea

4:37pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Hesrich says...

This has nothing to do with Americanisation. Many UK universities run a semester system rather than the traditional 3-term system.
This has nothing to do with Americanisation. Many UK universities run a semester system rather than the traditional 3-term system. Hesrich

4:45pm Sat 16 Feb 13

coldcoffee says...

Good sense at last, from PlanetTea (nice name). At the University of Leeds we use a semester system which works very well for students and staff, and hasn't yet turned anyone into an American or indeed left them with 'half the year off'. The old three-term year is not set in stone and has many drawbacks. It's sensible of York to look into making this change.
Good sense at last, from PlanetTea (nice name). At the University of Leeds we use a semester system which works very well for students and staff, and hasn't yet turned anyone into an American or indeed left them with 'half the year off'. The old three-term year is not set in stone and has many drawbacks. It's sensible of York to look into making this change. coldcoffee

1:23pm Tue 19 Feb 13

ShunGokuSatsu says...

Baseless jingoism? In the Press comments section? My surprise is palpable. That some of it's coming from someone who doesn't even know how many states America HAS is just delicious.
Baseless jingoism? In the Press comments section? My surprise is palpable. That some of it's coming from someone who doesn't even know how many states America HAS is just delicious. ShunGokuSatsu

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