Christmas exams in 2010 could run on into Christmas Eve in a bid to resolve the scheduling conflicts around Orientation Week. The start of the 2010-2011 term has been provisionally deferred by one week, to accommodate scheduling conflicts which saw Orientation Week clashing with the first round CAO offers.
Problems had arisen when it emerged that UCD’s Orientation Week clashed with the first round of CAO offers, due to be issued this year on 30th August. There were concerns that university authorities may have to scrap Orientation Week in its current format due to the fact that students would only receive notice of their place in UCD halfway through the scheduled Orientation Week.
However at a meeting of the University Undergraduate Programme Board last month, it was formally proposed that authorities scrap the original academic schedule, which had intended for orientation to commence on Monday 30th August.
It was then proposed that orientation begin on Monday 6th September, with the first week of classes beginning on Monday 13th September. After twelve weeks’ tuition and one revision week, the final exam period would thus start on Monday 13th December and end on 23rd December, one week later than usual.
However for this plan to work, it will require condensing the current eleven-day exam timetable into a ten-day one. If the traditional eleven-day progamme can not be shortened, it would mean that exams would end on Christmas Eve as they cannot be held on Sundays.
Proposals were also put forward to begin the exams a day early on Saturday 11th December should the timetabling issue fail to be resolved.
According to the written proposal from the meeting, the main concern with the potential overlap of Orientation Week and the CAO offers being released was the inconvenience that the clash would have on incoming students. It was agreed that allowing students only one day to accept an offer and to begin their registration would cause too much stress, as well as adding extra pressure to university staff.
It was also felt that students would be ill prepared for life in UCD without undergoing the complete orientation process.