A confidential poll of all academic and related staff at Liverpool John Moores University is being organised by Natfhe, the university and lecturers' union, to see what they think about the institution's plans to pilot a third semester.
The union, which is organising the poll from headquarters, opposes third semesters. It claims that a previous Natfhe branch ballot showed that staff do oppose the plans and is hoping to have the results in time for the academic board meeting next week. A decision on the bid was deferred by the board last month. The university can go ahead without its approval.
The university was one of three institutions which successfully bid to pilot a third semester. However it has to resubmit because a substantial part involved new courses at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and this was not acceptable. The university has not yet resubmitted and it was only awarded Pounds 2.2 million by the Higher Education Funding Council instead of the Pounds 3.4 million sought.
"This means either the bid will have to be drastically curtailed, which would have an impact on the quality of the third semester, or the institution will have to subsidise the pilot from its own funds." Natfhe says.
The two other institutions whose bids for piloting a summer semester were accepted are the University of Luton and La Sainte Union College of Higher Education.