DCU to consider holding exams before Christmas

Fionnuala Walsh

DCU discuss the possibility of changing the exam timetables to before Christmas. Credit: PA

A working group has been set up in DCU to consider moving semester one exams to December, rather than late January.

The working group will discuss the possibility of changing the exam timetables following feedback from staff and students.

The group was established by Professor Eithne Guilfoyle, Vice-President of Academic Affairs in DCU, and William Kelly, the Deputy Registrar.

“It would be a huge change to the way DCU operates now,” said Niall Behan, President of DCU Students’ Union.

UCD, NUI Galway and UCC all have their exams before Christmas, and Trinity holds exams for both semesters at the end of April.

“Other colleges do it differently, should we be doing it differently, what are the implications and would students agree to it,” said Behan. “It would affect exams and results, and I think that with the new strategic plan it’s just a complete overview of how our policies work. Not just sitting down waiting for things to happen, but actively doing something.”

The working group will not make a definitive decision on the issue, and their feedback will then go to the executive and governing authority for approval.

“I think some people with placements and stuff would think differently, some people missing out on placements because they have to start later, people on international and Erasmus miss exams and there is a lot of hassle with that. International students have to leave early and have to do a project that actually adds to an academics workload over Christmas,” he said.

“I ask is it right that 17,000 students don’t have their Christmas when 15,000 academics do, so that would be the point I’d make,” he said.

Chynna Lewis, an international student from America in the Global Business program said that the current academic calendar was inconvenient.

“I’d prefer to have exams before Christmas because I was very stressed  the whole christmas break. When I should have been enjoying my holidays I was busy studying for exams,” Lewis said.

“The group’s membership is drawn from across the university, and includes student representation. The current President of the Students’ Union, Niall Behan, is a member,” she said.

Fionnuala Walsh