Complaint about the changes to the master thesis at Anthropology, KU

Oprettet den 10/12-2018

We wish to submit a complaint regarding the changes in our master’s thesis format and supervision that was announced on December 5th on KUnet. The changes regard a change of length of our master’s thesis from 80 to 60 pages, and a reduction in our supervision from 6 to 5 sessions.

We highly object to these changes and have a range of concerns regarding them:

Firstly, we find it highly objectionable that the Board of Studies choses to implement changes in the middle of our studies as master students. Some of us have chosen to write in the fall of 2019, and will therefore be affected by both reductions set in place by the Board. We have planned our projects, carried out our fieldworks and collected our data with the expectation of writing a 80 page thesis and having the prospect of 6 hours of supervision. To change the format in the middle of our studies is highly criticisable, as it is disrespectful of our study plans and of the grounds on which we have taken an informed choice to write our thesis in the fall.

Secondly, we find that the changes install unequal terms among the students. Those of us writing in the Spring of 2019 have the same amount of time to write our theses as all other students on our year, and will receive 6 sessions of supervision. If some of us fall ill or experience other forms of delays in terms of handing in our thesis by May 31, we will be subjected to the 60-page rule, but will have received 6 sessions of supervision. The last point is unequal terms in regards to us hence having received more supervision than our fellow students writing in the fall. The changes and reductions needed to be done to our thesis manuscripts are severe if we are not able to submit by May 31st.

Thirdly, a reduction of 20 pages in total of our thesis will affect the quality of our work. We find it highly objectionable that the Board chooses to divide an entire year in this manner, as we all have had the same terms and expectations towards our studies as master students, our planning of our projects, our data collecting during fieldwork, and the planning and writing of our thesis.

Fourthly, we highly object that these changes are put in place an entire 2 months after the deadline for signing the thesis contract for making our thesis in the spring 2019. The thesis should be carried out as agreed when the contract was signed and so we think the changes should only apply to students signing their contract now, aware of the changed thesis.

We strongly object that the changes put in place should be implemented for our year, and strongly urge the Board to roll back and postpone the implementation on the above grounds.

We suggest that the Board meet with us for a discussion of the roll back of the changes, the possibility for dispensation beyond the rules now applying at the administration for granting dispensation, the possibility for individual thesis contracts to still apply for those writing in the spring, or for the possibility of individual contracts due May 1st for those writing in the fall to be enabled in terms of length and supervision.

On behalf of the students

The Anthropological Student Council // Antropologisk Fagråd