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Policy for increasing study activity at the Faculty of Arts

Background

Both in Denmark and abroad, political demands have increased in recent years regarding the scope of the teaching provided at universities as well as documentation of this teaching in terms of the number of lessons taught.

In particular, the political focus has been directed at degree programmes in the humanities and social sciences, accompanied by the requirement that the universities should provide documentary evidence of the number of lessons and research base of their degree programmes. In Denmark this is due to the fact that the government has increased the amount of per capita student funding that it provides.

This increase has been guaranteed until 2015, and the universities have been asked to carry out regular random tests to provide evidence of the effect of the increase in terms of the number of lessons taught and the number of teachers on the academic staff.

The Ministry of Higher Education and Science is also engaged in a dialogue with the universities and others with a view to developing a national system of registration for all medium- and long-term degree programmes to document the number of lessons taught and the extent to which these lessons are based on research. This system will be implemented from the autumn semester of 2014 onwards.

At Denmark’s universities in general, there is also increasing focus on strengthening the quality of our degree programmes – for instance by monitoring the level of study activity among students in general, establishing minimum requirements for the number of lessons taught each semester, introducing new forms of teaching, and improving the quality of the student guidance provided.

Increasing the quality of degree programmes by increasing the level of study activity: policy and focus areas

The Faculty of Arts wants to develop the quality of its degree programmes in particular, but not solely through the provision of full-time degree programmes involving full-time study activity (one year of full-time study corresponds to 1,640 hours or 60 ECTS credits).

Increasing the level of study activity in full-time degree programmes is expected to give the students an increased learning outcome, as well as helping to ensure more effective degree completion times and reducing the student drop-out rate. Increasing the level of study activity can also help to comply with the political demands outlined above.

Full-time degree programmes mean an increase in the number of teaching and supervision hours in some of the faculty’s degree programmes, and a general improvement of the existing forms of teaching thanks to the development of new teaching formats and teaching supported by technology.

In some degree programmes the number of teaching and supervision hours will be increased; but in general more varied teaching and preparation formats will be offered to promote full-time study activity.

The faculty has adopted the following policy with a view to increasing the level of study activity:

Minimum requirements for the number of teaching and supervision hours provided:

(See appendix 1 for further definitions according to the Ministry of Higher Education and Science’s upcoming registration system).

  1. All Bachelor’s degree programmes at the Faculty of Arts will offer at least 12 hours of teaching and supervision each week within the space of a 14-week semester
  2. All Master’s degree programmes at the Faculty of Arts will offer at least 8 hours of teaching and supervision each week within the space of a 14-week semester

Calculating and describing study activity:

  1. In future ECTS credits will be used as a method of calculating the work done by students (preparation, teaching, supervision and examinations). One year of full-time study of 60 ECTS credits corresponds to 1,640 hours of study activity
  2. In connection with academic regulations, descriptions of study activity will be drawn up describing the work done by students, categorised in terms of the type of activity involved

Registering the teaching and supervision provided:

  1. The faculty management team will allocate resources to enable the Administration Centre Arts and the individual degree programme committees and directors of studies to comply with the ministry’s registration requirements

Resources needed to increase level of study activity:

  1. Each year the faculty management team will allocate joint resources to increase the level of study activity in relation to the demands outlined above regarding the degree programmes, and to ensure knowledge sharing and evaluation throughout the main academic area
  2. The department managements are responsible for balancing the use of academic staff (with and without a research obligation) with the use of part-time academic staff and student instructors in connection with increasing the level of study activity on individual degree programmes

With a view to developing teaching and supervision formats which support student learning processes as well as possible, plans of action will be developed including a range of specific projects.

July 2013

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