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Full time equivalent

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  • Full time equivalent

    Came across the following in a postgraduate degree rules and regulations booklet:

    "Where monitoring indicates concerns about progression of the candidate, the University can apply a three-month period of probation (full-time equivalent)".

    Assuming that part-time study for the same course is documented within the university particulars as being twice the duration as full-time study, does the inclusion of the phrase "full-time equivalent" mean that in the case of a full time student the probation would be 3 months, but in the case of a part-time student it would be 6 months?
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  • #2
    The obvious port of call is to ask the University concerned what it means.

    The phrase seems inappropriate in the context in which it has been used, at least without clarification.

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    • #3
      they have been asked and their view is that it means full time and part time students would both have a 3 month period of probation. This doesn't make sense to me because if that's what they meant then the phrase "full-time equivalent" would have been excluded.

      FTE in this sense is a unit to measure students in a way that makes them comparable given that they study a different number of hours per week and would be obtained by comparing the hours that a part time student is expected to study compared with the average number of hours that a full time student is expected to study. A full-time student would be counted as 1 FTE, while a part-time student (given they have twice the time to complete the degree) would be an FTE of 0.5.

      Gievn the inclusion of "full-time equivalent" in the university's rules then the FTE unit is there to standardize a student's actual course load in comparison with the full time course load. Therefore the probation period for the part time student should be 6 months (not 3)

      Given the above, if the university were to place a part time student on what is deemed to be a full time probation, presumably they would be violating the terms and conditions that the part time student signed up to?

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      • #4
        That accords with my feeling that in this context the words should not have been used.

        At the end of the day it is your university that makes and applies the rules, and not this forum. I doubt that you want to run a test case in Court over this.

        Is the question hypothetical, or are you on probation and trying to argue for a longer period?

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        • #5
          this isn't hypothetical it's a real situation, the university are adamant that both FT and PT would be placed on a 3 month period of probation based on their rule quoted. My view is that if that's what the author of the rule intended then the phrase "full-time equivalent" would have been excluded. Those enforcing the rules it appears did not write them.
          Last edited by TopCat1; 10th May 2022, 14:15:PM. Reason: typo

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