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"The calendar change will allow for better coordination of teaching and activities across all grades."

Jorge Juan Gil, Deputy Director of Alumni at Tecnun, explains the reasons for the proposed changes in the academic calendar for the next academic year.

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Jorge Juan Gil, deputy director of Alumni of the Tecnun PHOTO: Communication Service
09/04/18 13:29 Communication Service

Jorge Juan Gil, Assistant Director of Alumni at Tecnun, analyzes the current situation of the School's academic calendar, the advantages and disadvantages observed, and explains the changes that have been proposed in order to improve the experience of all students on campus.

Why is the academic calendar for those in the first three years different from that of 4th graders?

Tecnun currently has two academic calendars. One for students in the first three years, and the other for students in the 4th year. In the first calendar, 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students take all the exams of the extraordinary exams during the month of June. On the other hand, 4th year students take the extraordinary exams for the first term in January, just after the Christmas vacations. In this way, students who finish their degree after the first term can join the Master's Degree in Industrial Engineering at the end of January. The possibility of starting the master's degree in September or January minimizes the negative impact of having a student who has only a few subjects left to finish the degree, from January to September without doing anything.

Now the calendars are going to be unified so that the extraordinary call for the first four-month period of all courses will be in January. Why has this measure been adopted?

First of all, there are many students who are enrolled in subjects of several courses. Thus, students who have 3rd and 4th subjects (even 2nd, 3rd and 4th) in January may have extraordinary official 4th exams on official 2nd and 3rd school days. This is interfering with the teaching of 2nd and 3rd year subjects, which may have requested compulsory work or internships in accordance with their official calendar. It also happens that in the elective subjects we have 3rd and 4th year students mixed up. The 3rd year students start classes normally at the beginning of the second term and the 4th year students start several weeks later, after their extraordinary exams. Finally, those who opt for the double degree in Mechanics and Design are particularly disadvantaged by the existence of the double calendar, because their curriculum provides a path that mixes 3rd and 4th year subjects even if the student has not failed any subject.

What are the benefits of the proposal?

In addition to solving the disadvantages mentioned above, the unification of calendars may have other beneficial effects. Although there is no unanimity of opinion on this point, some teachers think that between the May exams and the June exams there is not enough time to prepare all the subjects they have failed. Obviously, this depends on the number of failed subjects. Although they are not the majority, in Tecnun there are students who face quite a few subjects in the extraordinary exams. If instead of 5 or 6 subjects in June they would face only 2 or 3 subjects in January and another 2 or 3 in June, they would be able to prepare better and obtain better academic performance. In addition, they would try to improve the results of recently taught subjects. Subjects that were taught in the first term are very difficult to retake in June.

Students may be concerned that they will not have time to make up in January the subjects they failed in December. What measures will be taken in this regard?

The exams will finish, at the latest and taking the dates of the 18/19 course, on the morning of December 19. I have asked the professors to have all grades posted before Christmas. The reviews of most of the exams will take place on December 20 and 21, except for the last exam of each course, which can be reviewed on January 8. On the other hand, students will be able to resolve doubts after the vacations, on January 8 and 9. In addition, the recovery of the last exam of December will be placed as late as possible in January.

And what happens during the first two weeks of January with students who have passed everything in the regular exam?

The change in the approved calendar creates an opportunity to take advantage of January in a different way at Tecnun. Until now, many students with good grades concentrated their time as interns in laboratories and research groups in June and July. With the new calendar, it will be possible to do these types of activities during the first weeks of January. It may also be a good time to organize company visit trips, international "winter" courses similar to our current summer courses, and the usual sessions with companies prior to the employment forum.

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