How CBS handles the ’progress reform’

Skrevet af Sidsel GreenFelix Kasperek, translation - Foto: Iqoncept | Dreamstime.com - 27. marts 2014 - 17:580 kommentarer
The reform consists of many different elements, including SU rules, financial incentives for the universities and a number of changes in the rules regarding how educational programs are planned and executed.

The ‘progress reform’ has, since its conception, been a controversial subject and whether they like it or not, CBS’ students will be subject to it from next semester. CBS must shorten the time it takes students to finish their degrees, but it could have positive consequences for the students.

The progress reform, the finish-faster reform, the ’backwards reform’. It goes by many names, but it doesn’t change the fact that last year, the parliament agreed to the reform that hopefully will lead to students completing their higher education at a faster rate than today.

CBS’ students won’t escape the consequences. Since the reform was agreed upon, work at CBS has been focused on the implementation. A steering committee and two work groups are working hard on ensuring the reform will be implemented as smoothly as possible.

And there’s enough work to go around. The reform contains no less than three main parts: adjustment of the SU-rules (student support rules), strengthening of the financial incentives for the universities to shorten the study period and finally, a number of changes in the rules regarding how educational programs are planned and executed.

However, CBS’ current students can keep calm so far. That’s because if you’re already enrolled, the rules of mandatory exam enrolment won’t apply to them until the summer of 2015.

CBS has had to have the new rules ready from the upcoming summer, however. This is because the rules for transferring credit go into effect then, but especially the upcoming year’s bachelor’s students will be subject to the progress reform when they start their studies.

In other words, it’s worth knowing how the reform will affect your day to day life.

Reducing study time with 4,3 months
As CBS’ Dean of Education, Jan Molin, has written previously in CBS OBSERVER, CBS makes a big effort out of making sure the reform doesn’t bring down the quality of our programs.

Meanwhile, the senior management has decided that they will make a big effort out of reducing or removing wasted time in the programs, so CBS isn’t penalized financially. If it is to be avoided, the average study time is to be brought down by 4.3 months.

The study boards are among those designated to help lift the heavy load. Consequently, the progress reform was on the agenda when CBS Students invited all VIPs and student-elected members of the study boards to their seminar at Flintholm, in early March.

Here, Wilbert van der Meer, head of secretariat for the Dean of Education, presented the main bullet points of consequences for CBS’ students:

- The biggest problem you’ll face as students is that you’re automatically signed up for 60 ECTS points every year. It will become mandatory to take the re-exam the same year if you fail, and if you have to re-do a whole course, you’ve already used 2 exam attempts, he explained and emphasized:

- As opposed to today, where you can just opt out of the exam.

Better opportunities for credit transfer on exchange
An important point in the implementation of the progress reform is that CBS doesn’t see its students as lazy or wasting the time of their studies. On the contrary; it’s demonstrated by foreign exchange which delays many students.

Here, CBS’ attitude is that CBS students want to get full credit, comparable to 30 ECTS. So the opportunities should to do so should be improved.

- The study board chairman is authorized to quickly give approval of credit if the students are unexpectedly forced to change courses on exchange. At the same time, CBS will start doing better statistics on credits, so we can see where the problems are, said Wilbert van der Meer at the seminar.

The procedure for credit transfer changes a bit too, so from next year it will be mandatory to inform CBS of previous education. In other words, it will be mandatory to apply for credit transfer for all previous courses you might have taken.

However, CBS doesn’t have the impression that many students intentionally do not apply for credit transfer, so the effect of these initiatives are expected to be limited.

MSc study time reduced by 2 years
One aspect that has led to a lot of criticism, are the changed rules for leaves of absence. However, it’s based on the University of Copenhagen having considered severe restrictions on leaves of absence.

However, that’s not the case at CBS, where students can breathe easy. There are no plans to limit the possibility to take a well-reasoned leave of absence.

But the Dean of Education has decided that the maximum time for obtaining an MSc degree should be reduced. Today, you can spend a total of five years completing your MSc degree. In the future, ‘only’ three years can be spent finishing the two-year program.

- We want to send a signal to the students that the maximum duration for an MSc program should be the prescribed time. And allowing students to spend more than twice of that amount is sending a mixed message, Wilbert van der Meer emphasizes.