Patricia Velloso 0

Thesis Deadline Extension - ISS Mundus Mapp

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Dear colleagues,

The Mundus Mapp students coming from ISS were severely disadvantaged from the bad scheduling of the Poverty, Inequality and Growth course, which is mandatory for us. Along with this intensive course, we have many deadlines from our other classes, which makes it virtually impossible for us to deliver our thesis on July 10th. We are asking for an extention and we would appreciate if you could support us :)
Here is the letter we sent for the IBEI administration:

"Dear Mundus MAPP Academic Board,

We are writing as the ISS-IBEI track Mundus MAPP students from the 2015-2017 cohort. We have just started the three week mandatory intensive course on Growth, Inequality and Poverty (GRIP) at IBEI and are approaching our final thesis deadline on 10 July.

As soon as we became aware that this course was scheduled to be an intensive course we raised our concerns about the impact that this would have on our learning outcomes from the course and the time available for finishing our theses. We have attached our communications where we have raised these concerns and suggested alternative teaching arrangements for the GRIP course. These emails date from 24 December 2016, 27 January and 21 February 2017. A timetable of important dates for course ends, deadlines and the exam week (w/c 26 June) is at the bottom of this email.

We are in contact about the issue of the short window of time to finish our theses without other academic commitments. It is only the ISS-IBEI track students facing this situation, because for us the three week intensive GRIP course is mandatory. We have informally spoken to the other students and they support our request, and we are currently collecting formal support.

We are seriously concerned about the impact of the limited time that we have before the deadline of our theses without other academic commitments. We strongly believe that not only the academic quality of our theses, but also our performance in our final semester courses, will be jeopardised if the deadline remains 10 July. We would like the quality of our theses to reflect our learning, our constant efforts and the quality of the Mundus MAPP programme, and we are afraid that at present this will not be possible.

Despite progress made alongside our other academic obligations, having time without other academic courses and assignments is important for achieving the focus required for a substantial research project like this. Allowing a reasonable amount of time after classes and other assignments finish for writing-up theses is a convention amongst Master's programmes in general, and we think that this is a convention grounded in best practice. In fact, this best practice was recognised and given to the other Mundus MAPP students. CEU students at IBEI and in particularly students at York University have been benefiting from significantly more time, after their last deadlines on 18 April, to dedicate themselves to their theses. We feel that it is inconsistent to guarantee only part of the students on the course adequate time to fully dedicate to the thesis.

It is important to say that the program itself also benefits when we perform well in our courses and theses, as it reflects well on the program for our theses to be of high academic standing. We are all looking for jobs and many of us for PhDs, which has reinforced the importance of this research project for us all. For PhD applications the Master's thesis is of the utmost importance and we would like to have an appropriate amount of time to fully dedicate ourselves to it. In that sense, we strongly believe that the current deadline will impact negatively on our applications for future employment and study and, therefore, the general outcomes for the Master's programme.

Since the alternatives for the delivering of GRIP were not successful, we are contacting you to request for the thesis deadline to be extended to July 26.

This would be four weeks after the GRIP final assignment deadline, IBEI exam week and other course deadlines. This date is reflective of the time we expected to have without classes, assignments and exams to finish our thesis, which was a month. Also it is closer, though still less than, the time that other Mundus MAPP students have to focus exclusively on their theses; we are aware that students in York had their final assignment deadlines two and a half months earlier than our group currently. Additionally, IBEI Master's students have until the beginning of September, bearing in mind that the number of credits we take this year is the same, and we will have finished courses at the same time.

The structural difference in the programme across tracks may have existed in a lesser form in previous years, but we do not see that this is a reason not to address it. We understand that achieving this with different educational systems is very difficult, but would hope that consistency is striven for where this is possible. The GRIP course significantly exacerbates the different conditions for students completing the final thesis across tracks.

With this said, our primary concern is to have a sufficient amount of time, without other academic obligations, to focus on completing good quality theses. This is why we are contacting you and asking for your support.

We would appreciate a written response which addresses our concerns and proposal. "

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