Academic Calendar Review

Karen Murphy
Wednesday 30 August 2023

In April 2023, we established a task group to begin looking at the Academic Calendar, in light of our commitment to reviewing the changes approved in 2019 and implemented in AY2021-22. The group includes colleagues from Academic schools, Business Transformation, Education and Student Experience, Equality Diversity and Inclusion, Registry, Residential and Business Services, the Students’ Association, and Timetabling.  


This group initially looked at the various constraints and variables within which any changes to the calendar may be possible, recognising that some constraints are externally imposed and immovable (e.g. UCAS deadlines, and the minimum number of contact weeks for a full time programme), and others have more flexibility.  


Following these discussions, the team developed a variety of alternative models for the academic calendar, in order to be able to compare and contrast the various benefits and disbenefits of each, which have been approved by the Principal’s Office for broader discussion and consultation. 


Over early Semester 1 of AY23-24, we shall be facilitating a number of opportunities for students and staff to feedback and comment on the different models – in workshops, digital spaces, existing governance groups and committees, and informal activities across the University. If it becomes apparent that a clearly preferred model for the academic calendar is emerging, and has support from across all stakeholder groups – students, academic staff, and professional services staff – we shall use this feedback to inform a final proposal that will go to Senate in December 2023 for approval, which should result in any approved changes being communicated within AY23-24, for implementation in AY 2024-25. 


If a clear model does not emerge, and we require further time to consult on the proposals and refine a future model for the academic calendar, we shall extend the period of consultation and take a final proposal to Senate in March 2024, which will allow changes to be communicated before the end of AY23-24, and to take effect in AY 2025-26.  


We know that many people – students and staff – from across all different areas of our university, have views and feedback on the academic calendar, and we will therefore work in a variety of ways to listen to and analyse this feedback. Information on how to provide feedback and get involved will be posted on this Education Blog, and a survey to collect feedback will be open for the whole of September. We’ll keep in touch on this site, via In the Loop, the Sabbatical newsletter, university and Students’ Association social media channels, and through a number of existing committee structures. 

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