Time for interaction 2

November 9, 2006

My daughter is in the first year of a joint-honours degree at Manchester University studying a modern language and English. Her contact time for English is two hours a week - a lecture and a seminar. The lecture is delivered by different lecturers every week and the seminar by postgraduate students. She feels totally unsettled in the English part of her degree and is losing her passion for the subject.

Surely, first-years need more contact time and stability to feel embedded in a department. If we calculate the total number of tuition hours for English during the academic year (24 weeks at two hours a week), it comes to 48. How can this be sufficient to introduce students to a subject at degree level - especially when half the contact time is provided by postgraduate students paid at the part-time hourly rate?

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