Friday10.00 (2019) MDIA2003_19

Is three-semester program is bad for the students?

The newly implemented three-semester system at UNSW has provoked strong sentiments from the majority of the students surveyed, some of them calling it dangerous for their future.

By Aihua Dong.

“It will affect the quality of teaching, it will put more pressure on the students, and many of us will not be able to work to support our studies,” according to a student who works three days a week to support herself.

The survey was carried out to find out how students of UNSW feel about he three-semester system, also known as ‘tri-monster’.

Of the 77 students surveyed,  57 (72.8 percent) were not happy with the new system. According to a report published by the UNSW, the purpose of the tri-semester is designed to improve the student experience and additional opportunities for students to increase the flexibility of study load.

Photo:The trimester survey result.

However, as the survey shows, the majority of the students does not agree with the thinking of the University.

Talica Gummery is a second year student studying Japanese and media said that, she’s not beneficial from trimester at all due to languages programme she’s in.

“because I do a language programme, it means a huge gap in between two trimesters for me to do a language, it’s very easy to, I think, would easily lose that everything that I have learned,” she said.

Tom Kennedy, the President of UNSW the Students Representative Council this year, said that  the Council had received over 500 responses from students across all faculties about the  trimester.

“Mental Health is at an all-time low, the lack of a proper stuvac means literally no break time for 13 weeks – 11 weeks of content, 2 weeks of exams,” he said.

“Students are feeling the burden of an incredibly intense study load, to put it self harm and suicidal ideation,  are terms I’ve read too many times in the responses.”

When asked about his opinion of the trimester, Kennedy  said the university has not planned this at all, this reason may help to explain why students are complaining about trimester.

“The content has not been restructured significantly enough to work under the new system. When you’re teaching a course that has been divided into 13 distinct pieces of content, there’s no way that nicely divides into 10 weeks, “ he said.

“The result is topics being artificially spread out across weeks with little continuity, content being put online or into ’self-study’, barely anybody can focus in a 3+ hours lecture.”

Meanwhile, Vivi Luo as a third-year student who going to graduate this term,  said that the trimester system has caused some problem to her friends who are in year 2 and Year 3 this year, they may transfer to other universities due to some courses were not open in term 3 or term 2 which result in delay graduation.

However, the job-seeking experience of Vivi tells a different story.

“I think trimester is quite beneficial as for me in terms of seeking a job because I just got an offer from a Company this month, ” she said.

“All the accounting company need to hire large numbers of accountant in June, so June is the peak of hiring seasons, UNSW accounting students could even monopolize the job market in the aspect of accounting firms.”

When asked the reason, Mrs Luo believes the trimester system could provide more job opportunities to UNSW accounting students than other universities in Sydney if trimester policy still implement in coming years because of graduated earlier that avoid the peak of hiring seasons in June.

“To be honest, you can apply for a job at any time you wanted, but there would be more job opportunities in June because of Fiscal Year, there is less chance if you are going to apply for a job after Fiscal Year, ” Mrs Vivi emphasized.

This means that trimester has some students supporting it which makes it controversial.

Mark Liu, a student majoring in finance and information system and the vice-president of Let’s Talk and ACYA society, says the trimester has brought more motivation to him.

Information system and finance student Mark Liu find motivation from trimester.

“I am a person if someone doesn’t push me, then I wouldn’t do anything extra, so the trimester give me a chance to push myself, like you have to catch up every single lecture, because once you miss one or two lectures, that’s like (loss) 20% of whole semester, so I can’t allow myself to miss the lecture anymore, ” Mr Mark said.

“As for society stuff, as society schedule gets tighter, people can’t just being slack as much as used to be, but I think in a way it sort of enhances our efficiency, but at the same time, we have less fun officially.”

“People refuse to change and have trouble when the schedule getting tighter. But we have to learn to adapt to new policies, according to Mark.

The number of confidential innominate students have supported the trimester policy and evoked that we have to adapt it rather than complaining all the time.

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