SEMESTER DOUBTS: SCU international students (front, from left) Leimon Kalomor, Jai Shao and Kyasingmong Marma discuss their concerns about the reduced semesters with Jo Asquith (rear), director of the university’s International Office.
SEMESTER DOUBTS: SCU international students (front, from left) Leimon Kalomor, Jai Shao and Kyasingmong Marma discuss their concerns about the reduced semesters with Jo Asquith (rear), director of the university’s International Office. Georgina Bible

International protest on SCU semesters

INTERNATIONAL students at Southern Cross University think an extra study week needs to be added to each semester.

That is because the university reduced its semesters from 15 weeks to 13, meaning less time to get the same amount of work done.

Leimon Kalomor, from Vanuatu, Jai Shao, from China, and Kyasingmong Marma, from Bangladesh, all agree the shortened semesters leave students struggling.

“Because I am in the last year of my degree, the changed semester length hasn't affected me too much because I have learnt to cope after nearly four years of study,” Ms Kalomor, who is in her fourth year of a Bachelor of Applied Science in Forestry, said yesterday.

“But someone new to university and doing full-time study could really do with an extra study week during semester to catch up on assignments and study for exams.”

Ms Shao agreed a study week mid-semester would help students catch up with their work, but added there were advantages to shorter semesters.

“Having more time during the Summer School period at the end of the year means students can get their degree faster,” the fourth-year Bachelor of Business in Accounting student said. “This means you can enter the job market earlier.”

However, Mr Marma said students on the Lismore campus were 'a lot busier' now the 13-week semester had been introduced.

“If I was doing a full study load the shorter semester would make everything too hard,” the third-year Bachelor of Legal and Justice Studies student said.

Director of the university's International Office, Jo Asquith, said students should wait a full year to have a better perspective of the shorter semesters.

“Nobody has seen the advantages of the extended break at the end of the year, it's an extra four to five weeks,” she said. “And there are definite benefits for overseas students because if they fail a unit they can make it up during Summer School.”



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