The concept of an accelerated degree is one that starts off looking promising, but the more you look at it, the more cracks start to show. Although the fast track scheme will encourage disadvantaged students to pursue a degree because it costs a fifth less and only spans two years, the effect on the student’s welfare has to be seen as a priority.
The extended term time and extra pressure of the two-year course could be seen to lead to an increased risk of stress and anxiety. The longer hours would lead to students having less social time and less time to think over their ideas before jumping in to their work. This and the extended stay in accommodation would surely lead to students feeling isolated from their peers?
The accelerated degree has been suggested as a flexible choice for mature students. However, surely the jam-packed academic schedule would make arranging childcare more challenging? Any student who needs to take up a part time job would struggle to juggle both their studies and their shifts. The new degree costs 20 percent more a year than the standard three-year course, taking a larger chunk out of your loan. Less loan and no job – I struggle to see how the practicalities would work.
Accelerated degree’s might take less time and cost less money but it is clear to see that it would cost students a well-rounded university experience, one full of making friends, having time to join societies and get fully integrated in the social side of university.