Student loneliness is a pervasive issue in Cambridge, and one of the most frequent causes we have found in our research is the short, intense eight week term. We believe that Cambridge education can work better for everyone; the quality and rigour of undergraduate courses should not rely on squeezing as much work as possible into such a short space of time.
The solution is reform to the Cambridge term. We have shown that with relatively minor changes, we can create weekends that fall to the end of the week, not midway through; we can create a full Freshers'/Welcome Week for new students to get to know their city and colleagues; and we can create a Reading Week where you can engage with extracurricular activities, visit family and friends, catch up on missed work, or explore academic areas of interest in more depth.
We are currently consulting on this proposal for a vote at the end of term by Student Council. For more information, see Ben's blog below or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The truth is the Cambridge Undergraduate education doesn’t work for everyone. Students have long known this, and senior figures in the University have admitted this at various points over the last decade. The evidence given ranges from the exacerbation of students’ loneliness; to students’ inability to explore areas of interest in depth; to students not being able to engage with extracurricular activities due to worries about academic work.