On the Lack of Contact Hours

Whilst it is common for LSE students to appear on campus for as little as four hours per week (given that attendance at class is compulsory and most undergraduates take four courses), at other universities students may be subjected to a full working week of classes. The LSE unashamedly publicises “independent” learning style required for engagement in its degree programmes, meaning that there is no obligation for the school to change this. However, it could be in the best interests of the school to give some consideration to the issue.

In light of the departmental Christmas parties, I realised that I know relatively few of the fellow students in my courses by name. There are students who are loyal to lecture capture, who venture to campus only to submit formatives and problem sets. This is arguably the most productive way of learning, as it cuts down on time spent travelling to campus unnecessarily. However, the lack of time spent on campus begets a “learn and leave” culture; there is little camaraderie between classmates as the time spent together is short, and the interval between consecutive classes makes it difficult to foster meaningful friendships. The lack of contact hours may be at the core of the perpetually low student satisfaction ratings of the university. Surely this would have a positive feedback effect as if students knew more of their peers, they would feel more at ease on campus and so would have a better perception of the university.


  1. Completely agree! I hadn’t thought about the social implications of the tiny number of hours we get – only the academic up until now really. But also, if you really think about it, social elements help study anyway (support networks, reading groups, discussions, sharing notes etc.). This is the biggest reason why I think LSE has such an appalling student satisfaction rate. Appreciate you raising this issue.

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  3. “learn and leave” culture is really harmful for college going students. They don’t do networking and miss the power of it. I have seen day scholars in my college, they never knew inside story of subject and trick. I am lucky to be part of being in campus of late hours. Nice post.

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