In a meeting of the USyd Academic Board held this afternoon, a proposal to shorten Semester 1 next year to twelve weeks has been defeated.
The proposal, spearheaded by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Pip Pattison, cited the potential for an academic and administrative bottleneck due to the reduced period of holiday time between Semester 2, 2020 and Semester 1, 2021 as the primary reason for the change.
Student Representatives present at the meeting told Honi that three options were being considered.
The first, which was to reduce Semester 1, 2021 to twelve weeks in addition to delaying the start of semester by one week, was defeated narrowly by 51% of attendees. Student Representatives voted unanimously against this option.
The second, which was supported by 60% of attendees, was to delay the start of Semester 1, 2021 by one week but maintain thirteen contact weeks. This may mean that Winter School offerings will be slightly reduced or be closer in proximity to Semesters 1 and 2 next year.
The third, which was to not change semester dates at all and maintain thirteen contact weeks, was also supported by 60% of attendees.
However, the conclusion reached at today’s meeting will only apply as a temporary measure for Semester 1, 2021.
As reported earlier in September, the University is intending to return to the question of a permanent shift to twelve week semesters early next year.