Arts minor changes cause concern

Film students are concerned about changes to the faculty minor structure. They are requesting more clarification from the faculty board.

Starting in September, a new minor policy will be adopted in the Faculty of Arts. Film students are concerned about how the changes might negatively affect some of the minor programs and have submitted a request to the faculty board demanding clarification.

Film student Elise Hoven says, `We decided to send the request because we are very concerned about the possible effects of the new minor program. There are a lot of questions that remain unanswered.’

Minor changes

Starting in 2016, a minor program in the faculty will no longer be spread out over three years but can only be followed in the first semester of the third year instead. Majors will also increase to 150 study points. Four different minor options will be offered to students: a pre-master minor, a research minor, a labor market-oriented minor with an internship, and an international minor. Until 2017, upper classmen and non-arts students will continue to follow the old structure and there will be a transition period until 2018.

Students fear that a considerable number of the minors that are currently offered might no longer be accessible. This would have severe implications for popular minors such as film and music. In particular, ending the film minor – which had 180 students enrolled at the beginning of this academic year – would have a significant impact.

International Relations and International Organisation student Felix Virmani may be personally be affected if such changes occur: ‘I am currently taking a course from the film minor offered at the KCM (Arts, Culture and Media) department. Since it really interests me, I am considering following the complete minor program. I would really regret if this would not be possible anymore in the future.’

Staff concerns

Lecturers of the KCM department were not willing to speak about the issue on record, but they expressed concerns about the  implications for their department. Not only could the minor restructuring limit the interdisciplinary offerings for arts students in their bachelor programme, but lecturers also fear that it could make the Faculty of Arts less attractive to prospective students as a whole.

However, vice dean Dirk Jan Wolffram stresses that a final decision about the fate of the minor programs has not yet been made. ‘The new minor program, which will be implemented from 2016/2017 onwards, does not necessarily imply that there will be no room for students from our faculty or from other faculties to opt for modules of one of the present minors, which may be incorporated in major-programs. The Faculty Board will discuss the implications of the new minor program with all Departmental Boards, including the preservation of popular courses like Film and Music as elective for as many students as possible.’

Wolffram also stresses that the faculty will be informed about the preparations. Advisory committees and program committees, in which students actively participate, will be consulted.