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9am lectures should be scrapped

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Research says students work better if they start later, but will law schools listen?

Research by the Open University and the University of Nevada has said university students would benefit from later tutorial and lecture start times. Unfortunately, academics can’t see changes to this effect being implemented in law schools.

The study uses both survey and scientific data to argue that university days, which usually begin at fixed times in the morning, do not properly take into consideration “undergraduate chronotypes”. The research states:

[I]n adolescence and early adulthood optimal wake and sleep times are shifted 2–3 h[ours] later in the day, and yet this group are still required to conform to education start times more appropriate to young children and older adults.

Early start times for teenagers and young 20-somethings are linked to “chronic, irrecoverable sleep loss”, averaging more than two hours a day. To combat this, the trio of authors conclude “much later” starting times of 11am or 12pm are “optimal” for university students.

While this suggestion by researchers Mariah Evans, Paul Kelley and Jonathan Kelley may make students smile, academics aren’t convinced they’ll be taken into account — not when planning law teaching timetables anyway.

Dr Paul Bernal, a senior lecturer at the University of East Anglia, thinks later start times sound “very sensible”. But:

In practice our timetables are driven by forces well beyond our command. I regularly teach from 6-7 in the evening, for example. It’s mostly the business model of the universities, I think: they cram the timetable and bring in as many students as they can to fill every slot!

Dr Steven Vaughan, corporate law solicitor turned UCL academic, thinks attempting to align university timetabling with individual chronotypes is “simply unworkable”. And he has some home truths for law students: “Even if you start uni at 11am, you’re going to have short, sharp shock when you start a job after uni and realise other people get in before midday.”

While true, BPP’s Carl Gardner does note many legal workplaces seem quiet until 10am — perhaps a response to the realisation that young people tend to have their heads together a bit better later in the day. But there is a silver lining to early starts, Gardner says:

Don’t forget, the earlier classes end, the easier it is to bag the best seats in the pub.

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24 Comments

Doubting Tom

The Open University conducted this research..?

(10)(0)

Anonymous

If you have a problem with 9am lectures, then you are really going to struggle in practice.

(7)(1)

Anonymous

Everyone can manage waking up for a 9am lecture. You just feel like there was no need when you have no more classes until 3pm.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

I wish I could scrap 9AM meetings, though my secretary does a good job trying to keep them to 10 onwards.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

What a random comment.

(2)(1)

MC Associate

Not really mate.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Do you reckon you can ask your supervisor to set some money aside to research the negative effects of closing a deal at 3am?

Get to yer lecture ‘n’ stop whinin’!

(6)(0)

Trumpenkrieg

University admission for snowflake bellends who think the world should bend to their convenience should be scrapped.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

If you struggle at 9am, how will you function in Court? I appreciate students are learning, but there’s still an awful lot to be absorbed in the office or Court.

(1)(2)

MC Associate

Are you even a lawyer?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

I skipped all 9ams. Uni is about having a good time and enjoying yourself. You have the rest of your life to spend working yourself slowly to the grave. If you can’t skip 9ams and still get a TC etc.

(2)(2)

Scouser of Counsel

Just wait until you’re in pupillage or TV have to get up at 4.30am to go to some far-flung regional court for a hearing you’ve been up all night prepping.

9am for a lecture in a city or town that you’re probably living in is not unreasonable.

(5)(1)

Scouser of Counsel

*TC

(0)(0)

Anonymous

“Conducted by the Open University” Guess there’s no need to read the rest of the article then

(2)(2)

Anonymous

Ah bless, KK trying to provoke debate with an article designed to have polarised opinions….

(2)(1)

LLB Waterloo

Bpp give me 5 days of two sessions a day 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday. When I raised the issue I was told I should treat uni like a full time job. I bet they wouldn’t time table themselves in for such stupid schedules.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

The amount of pompous bores in the comment section comparing practice with student life is staggering. There really are some joyless virgins on here

(5)(3)

Anonymous

My thoughts as well. The comments section is just getting more and more pathetic.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Pipe down willy head

(0)(1)

Anonymous

I’m doing a law degree, working full time and raising a family so If you have no commitments get your arse out of bed for a 9am lecture and get some self discipline and motivation.

(1)(2)

Anonymous

Shouldn’t have been a teen mother then you sloot

(4)(1)

Anonymous

How many fathers?

Are they stand up chaps, who may not pay child support but look after the illegitimates during the daytime?

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Wow that’s horrible. What is wrong with the people in the comments? Why is everyone so needlessly rude?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Move the 9am Monday lectures to 7pm on a Friday. That’ll learn em.

(2)(0)

Comments are closed.