The University Education Committee has heard a proposal which would shorten semesters to twelve weeks ( in line with the Go8 institutions) and the mid-semester breaks to a single week.
This change was proposed as a result of a number of complaints from Colleges and Faculties. These included concern that there wasn’t enough time to mark exam papers before results had to be released.
The fact that examination management is nearing capacity was also raised as an issue It was highlighted that in the last eight years there has been a 41 percent increase in the number of students being formally examined at the end of Semester. It also mentioned thehigh percentage of ANU students in combined degrees would exacerbate the potential for clashes.
With examinations already being held on weekends and larger examination venues sources off campus proving more far more expensive without necessarily solving the issues, it was suggested that the only response was to reset the academic calendar.
However there will no doubt be repercussions for many students should the Education Committee decide to follow through with this alteration. For example, the ability of clubs and societies to host events or trips would be significantly hampered.
Many students have also voiced concerns that the break is important for interstate students to return home and to finish assignments which are often scheduled to be due after mid-semester breaks.
Restructuring the calendar would require either a return to the 10-3 week, which has already been rejected, or a considerable reduction in the vacation periods. If approved, the restructure would be implemented from 2013, with an additional five days between the end of examinations and the return of results and the mid-year break extended to six weeks.