Leading Article: Vacation attack

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The University of Central Lancashire's decision to shorten the Christmas and Easter vacations to give students more teaching time may be emulated by other institutions. The argument is that it's what undergraduates want, and it may help to cut drop-out rates.

Students like the idea of reducing the gap between teaching and exams, which is what would happen if the Christmas break was shortened from five to three weeks and the Easter break from three weeks to 11 days, as is proposed.

But the problem may be the academic staff, who are used to long holidays and/or clear time for research. Universities must tread carefully to avoid antagonising the University and College Union unnecessarily.