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Kelly Coate: Changes to the 2019/20 teaching timetable

Professor Kelly Coate, Pro Vice Chancellor for Education and Students

In recent months, colleagues across the University have been working hard to produce the best possible timetable for students and staff.

This is a complex task, which this year, will need to see some staff at the University teach slightly later into the day in some circumstances.

We speak to Pro Vice Chancellor for Education and Students, Kelly Coate, about what this will mean for the 2019/20 teaching timetable.

Why is this change needed?

In fact this is just a small change, as we have been teaching in the early evening for several years.

It has become clear that due to the constraints of our campus and the need to update and make better use of all our teaching spaces, we need to increase the amount of teaching later into the day in a small number of circumstances. Obviously it goes without saying that we are only doing this if it’s absolutely critical and we are extremely grateful for the cooperation of the staff involved.

What changes can staff expect when the new term begins?

The vast majority of teaching will finish at 6.00 pm - and for the upcoming first Semester for 2019/20, we are extending that to 8.00 pm in a small number of cases. This amounts to less than eight percent of teaching.

Of course, it’s important to us that the University’s “flexible by default” working procedure will still be applied wherever possible, and we’ll be working hard to balance the needs of the University and our staff.

In order to ensure that all teaching activity can be scheduled for the first 2019/20 semester, in instances when it is not possible to schedule classes between 9.00 am to 6.00 pm, we will extend the teaching day from 6.00 pm - 8.00 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Will this affect many staff?

The majority of staff won’t see any change and for those that are asked to teach later in the day, we are doing everything we can to make this as infrequent as possible – for example, we will do all we can to ensure someone teaching up to 8.00 pm, will not be expected to teach the next morning at 9.00 am.

The use of the 6.00 pm – 8.00 pm slot will be confined to those courses where teaching activities cannot be accommodated in the standard day.

Has the final timetable been agreed yet?

Yes, the draft timetable was made available for staff to view on Wednesday 31 July. The final iteration of the timetable will be published on Wednesday 14 August. The timetable will be available to students on Thursday 15 August.

We’ll let staff know when the final timetable is released and then you will of course be encouraged to talk to the Timetabling team. We’ll also contact students to let them know when they can expect to see the new timetable.

Where can staff find out more about the changes?

A set of Frequently Asked Questions has been developed to address any questions you may have.

We have been discussing the timetable with the University and College Union (UCU). UCU have raised some issues and we will continue discussions with them.

By: Sean Armstrong
Last updated: Friday, 2 August 2019