So They Just Don’t Care About Classes Anymore

September 22nd, 2006 by Potato

Well, it turns out my inexperienced, volunteer-based course offering isn’t an isolated incident at Western: grad studies just doesn’t seem to care about classes anymore. Halfway into September, after the add/drop date, the faculty decided out of nowhere that it wasn’t going to let grad students take undergrad courses (even if they need them to round out their background for their research). Some of our students found out by showing up to class, and having the profs tell them that they weren’t on the class list. The department had no idea that this was even under consideration, and it makes very little sense. True, grad student tuition is a bit lower than undergrad tuition on a per term basis (~$2k vs $3k), but we pay every term, so it evens out, and for the most part we don’t take any classes, so the few people who do need them should be able to take them on that sort of subsidy of the majority.

It is also true that nigh unlimited undergrad course enrolment was being abused by a few people: some have used their time doing a research degree to brush up on their chem or bio before taking a run at med school. In one notorious case, a PhD student got a bachelors of art at the same time, paying only grad tuition (which was covered by her research stipend). But these are pretty rare, and to not even let grads take one undergrad course (and to kick those who were already taking one out halfway into September) is overkill…

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