The Central Works Council wants to have a discussion with the UvA board about how the university can make the academic year shorter. That means fewer weeks of teaching and exams. In doing so, the council wants to reduce the workload for scientists.
The Works Council, which represents all employees towards the UvA board, writes this in a letter sent last Wednesday. According to the council, ‘an ever-expanding teaching load’ is causing increasing work and performance pressure. Moreover, there is less and less time left for research.
Although the workload is already being tackled in various ways, the council believes it is necessary to take ‘drastic measures’.
The Young Academy
Last year, a report by De Jonge Akademie, a think tank with young promising scientists, was published in which research was carried out about the length of the academic year in the Netherlands. ‘A recent comparison with six European renowned universities, which are comparable to the Dutch universities, shows that Dutch lecturers spend on average two whole months more per year teaching or examining than their colleagues,’ the council wrote about that report.
The council wrote the letter together with the VU Works Council. The council believes ‘that if both Amsterdam universities join forces on this issue, it will be an important starting point for a national discussion and decision making process’.
Earlier this year it was revealed that the Ministry of Education, Culture & Science is working on a pilot for a shortened academic year to reduce the workload. A number of universities could take part in this. The pilot would use the British academic year as an example, which is divided into three periods: from September to mid-December, from mid-January to March, and from April to June. In the latter period, there is generally little teaching and students have a lot of time to study for their exams.