THE UNIVERSITY last week approved a policy on student workloads, laying out guidelines for lecturers to follow when devising courses.
According to the policy, on average students should be doing ten hours of work – including class and tutorial time – per point towards their degree. So a 200 level humanities paper worth 22 points should, in theory, require 220 hours of work over a trimester.
hen developing courses, lecturers are advised to make sure the workload is equitable, reasonable and safe. Workloads must be similar across different degrees, and students should be able to maintain a balance between study, work and personal lives.
The policy also states that “all practicable steps are taken to minimise physical or mental harm to students.”
On the issue of extensions, the policy states that they could be granted to students when three or four pieces of assessment are due in a short period of time, or a student is under pressure due to medical or “other unexpected” circumstances.
VUWSA Welfare Vice-President Jules van Cruysen was pleased with the policy, but says it may be difficult to implement. “The vast majority of lecturers are reasonable and basically complying”, he says. However, he adds “I don’t think its going to change the way the real arseholes think and act.”