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 into 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, I believe it raises questions as to how the jam-packed academic schedule would present challenges for common concerns such as childcare and income.
Any student who needs to take up a part-time job would be hard-pressed to juggle both their studies and their shifts, something already considered to be an issue at present for those studying courses heavy in contact hours. I struggle to see how the practicalities would work.
Accelerated degrees might take less time and cost less money, but it is clear to see that it would cost students in numerous ways integral to a well-rounded university experience. Is it really worth sacrificing integration into the entire experience just to get a year ahead?