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Accelerated programs prevent students from introspective learning

According to the Independent, students in England will soon be offered accelerated two-year degree programs, as opposed to typical three-year undergraduate programs. Although universities will be allowed to charge more for the accelerated programs, this is still predicted to cut tuition costs by 20 per cent, leaving many wondering if this accelerated model would work here in Canada.

For many graduates who look back at their university experience, their memories are likely a complex series of frustrating, joyous, and unique events—but, they’re just that: complex.

University is more than just attending classes, and writing assignments—it’s also a time when teenagers, most of whom are fresh out of high school, get a chance to be independent and explore who they really want to be.

The logic from the universities in the UK is pretty clear; students will pay the same amount of money, attend the same amount of classes, and graduate with the same degree as someone in a three-year program—only that they will get to do it in two years, and join the workforce earlier.

However, having an accelerated program that increases students’ workloads, and limits the time that students can spend trying out a new club, or going on their first serious date, means that graduates will not have had the same number of formative experiences that  come naturally with three or four year degrees..

At a glance, it might seem like participating in a singular Quidditch match, or going to a party that’s not your speed, are wasted experiences that students could cut out from their university career—but, moments like those might actually mould your character more than it may seem.

Going to a party and saying “no” to a line of shots might actually give you a chance to engrain self-control as one of your core personality traits—or finding out that you’re really bad at Quidditch might encourage you to take up running, and getting in shape.

Having time to make mistakes, and discover the kind of person that you want to be is an important part of young adulthood.

Plus, the extra time that you spend trying new things might also make you more of a marketable asset to employers.

For instance, going to university in England and Scotland is becoming an increasingly popular trend, making it harder for graduates to stand out.

So, if you have completed one of the UK’s two-year programs—and, haven’t had time to work a summer job, or volunteer for the student newspaper on campus—your resumé might pale in comparison to the other candidates who have had the extra time to try out new things, and hone other skills outside of academics.

I’m not saying that university students coming out of their final year have to know exactly who they are, and what they’re good at, but having that extra time to go through the process might help many young adults along their way.

There’s something about your time in university that’s a little magical—you have many of the freedoms of adulthood, with fewer of the same responsibilities. Do you really want to rush through that?