Should attendance be mandatory for university lectures?

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shadowdweller
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Something that often generates debate is whether lectures at university should be mandatory, and whether registers should be taken for them. Some side with the notion that, as you are the one paying for your university, you should be able to go, whilst others think that it's important to attend as lectures as much as possible.

But what are your views on the topic, do you think attendance should be mandatory? And on the other side of the matter, do you think students should attend all their lectures regardless, if they're able to?
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Charlotte's Web
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All of my lectures were mandatory, a register was taken at each one and attendance was closely monitored. Nursing is very different though, because we need to attend lectures and skills sessions to ensure that we would be safe to practice, and to meet requirements of the number of hours of theoretical learning we completed.

If I paid for my degree, I'd certainly go to most if not all lectures. University is so expensive and it seems a shame to miss the few contact hours you have. Saying that, there were some lecturers who were useless and just read out a powerpoint, which I would have happily missed, although this is more of an issue with teaching quality.

I'm personally unsure whether passing essays/assignments should be enough to get a degree. University and graduate job applications are about so much more than meeting the minimum requirements. Attending a certain number of lecture hours shows that the student has been involved with the university and has been an active participant in the course.
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Changing Skies
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In all honesty, I barely attended any throughout the 3 years, so I'm obviously going to say it shouldn't be compulsory. If you want to essentially waste (like I did) your £9,000 a year fees, then it's your choice (or mistake) to make. For me, I didn't see the point when they were all streamed and put online anyway. I think for healthcare courses and courses like dentistry and ved med, then yes, but most people studying those degrees go to 99% of their lectures anyway from what I've seen.
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Friffinghell
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I think they should be mandatory. If you're not in the lecture (and it's not recorded) then you're not going to have the same insights into your subject.

I really enjoy lectures. I've had a couple of rotten ones in my time but the good far outweigh the bad.

Going to lectures is a great way to resolve social isolation as well- seeing as you're seeing the same people a few times a week. It's a good place to strike up friendships/ a support group to see you through your studies.
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Richard0328
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(Original post by Charlotte's Web)
All of my lectures were mandatory, a register was taken at each one and attendance was closely monitored. Nursing is very different though, because we need to attend lectures and skills sessions to ensure that we would be safe to practice, and to meet requirements of the number of hours of theoretical learning we completed.

If I paid for my degree, I'd certainly go to most if not all lectures. University is so expensive and it seems a shame to miss the few contact hours you have. Saying that, there were some lecturers who were useless and just read out a powerpoint, which I would have happily missed, although this is more of an issue with teaching quality.

I'm personally unsure whether passing essays/assignments should be enough to get a degree. University and graduate job applications are about so much more than meeting the minimum requirements. Attending a certain number of lecture hours shows that the student has been involved with the university and has been an active participant in the course.
it does seem a little odd that a university wants a personal statement plus reference (which includes attendance percentage) as part of the acceptance process for them to then not concern themselves about attendance at their teachings. Stirling even has their open days scheduled on Saturdays to allow people to attend without too much disruption plus try to work with different subjects to avoid 2 lecturers having assignments due on the same day. That is a lot of consideration and administration for them to not bother whether students turn up or not
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username2885164
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I don't think they should be, but those performing badly should be kicked off the course. the Purpose of going to university is to get a degree so as long as as many students can get their degrees as possible why does it matter how they get their degrees?
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JamesN88
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Unless it's a specific case like Charlotte said then no.

Students aren't children and universities shouldn't need waste time chasing people to attend lectures, if someone fails because they didn't turn up that's their problem.
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Dez
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I don't see the point really, I mean who actually benefits? You definitely don't need 100% attendance to get a decent degree classification. The lecture itself will not be affected by missing students - though seminars arguably could be affected I suppose (some uni departments do check attendance on seminars but won't bother for normal lectures).

The only real advantage is one of welfare; if a student starts missing a lot of their classes it normally means they need help of some kind. But that sort of thing can normally be handled without checking attendance for every single 300-student lecture.
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username2130115
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no. lectures aren't the only way of learning and some academics are god awful at teaching.
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RF_PineMarten
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Definitely not. I'm not a kid in school anymore, I'm a legal adult and if I feel like skipping a lecture for whatever reason (maybe I'm hung over, or maybe I've got other stuff to sort out, etc) I will. You don't need full attendance to get a good degree.
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Cubone-r
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No. I had some of my best experiences when I skipped lectures and went to the pub instead.
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math42
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Lol no, I went to approximately zero lectures in second term. It varies course to course, but on mine lecturers will often just write out the printed notes on the board. Even in modules without official lecture notes, I had success via recommended textbooks and past papers. Making notes from lectures never seemed to be of much use.
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IrrationalRoot
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NO.
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princessmaire80
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I was excused from some of my nursing lectures (mostly the social science part of it) because I had already studied it to a higher level than what was being taught (I did the DipHE in nursing and the social science part we were told was A-Level standard but I had previous study of it at degree level) so no I didn't go to all my lectures then but I used the time instead to go to the library and do other work.
I think actually having to go to lectures for my Masters will be difficult- but luckily I have the backing of the disability team as there are times my disability renders me bed bound so they've said if I can send them a quick email they will sort it out if I'm too poorly to make it in. I think having mandatory attendance would make it more of a worry- yes granted in my case things would likely be different as surely allowances would have to made for those with declared medical issues but I guess also it would depend on the nature of the course and the lecture as to whether making lectures mandatory would actually work.
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math42
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(Original post by IrrationalRoot)
NO.
Unless it's Samir. :beard:
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TimmonaPortella
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(Original post by Friffinghell)
If you're not in the lecture (and it's not recorded) then you're not going to have the same insights into your subject.
Just untrue tbh. I've had lecturers over the years who have (a) just repeated what they've said in their textbooks, so that you get exactly the same insight by attending as you do from their textbook but more slowly and in less depth, (b) been terribly unclear and/or waffled and gone on long tangents the entire time, and (c) just not really known their subject very well. In all of these cases it's annoying enough that the lectures aren't useful without being forced to attend on top.

If you fail and/or are socially isolated that's your own problem. When you get to university you're responsible for yourself.

(Original post by Charlotte's Web)
University and graduate job applications are about so much more than meeting the minimum requirements. Attending a certain number of lecture hours shows that the student has been involved with the university and has been an active participant in the course.
In a lot of cases what it means is that the student has walked to the faculty, sat down, drank a coffee, and been vaguely quiet for an hour. I'm not sure how it means they've been active either; some people contribute, where lecturers actually look for that, but sitting in a room and watching someone talk is pretty much the definition of passivity.

I knew multiple people at university who said they attended lectures because it was a valid excuse to avoid doing real work, particularly near exams.
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PenguinEmperor
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Whenever you are one of the weird people who actually goes to 99% of Lectures and Tutorials 🤡
I go for not mandatory, mainly because it means someone like me is able to create a better relationship with lecturers and generally when I actually go and visit them for help they do their up utmost for me
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IrrationalRoot
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(Original post by 13 1 20 8 42)
Unless it's Samir. :beard:
Still wouldn't like them to be mandatory (his notes are just as great as his lectures) but at least I'd probably be able to make it through lectures not doodling maths problems or playing chess on my phone 5 minutes in lol.
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InArduisFouette
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(Original post by JamesN88)
Unless it's a specific case like Charlotte said then no.

Students aren't children and universities shouldn't need waste time chasing people to attend lectures, if someone fails because they didn't turn up that's their problem.
for health professional pre-reg the situation is slightly difference as Charlotte said in her post.

however lectures for other subjects can be very variable in utility , and if you are going to mandate things start with other stuff , stuff where absence is currently noted even if not acted up on or for some subjects where missing more than a handful of the programmed sessions in the lab / drawing office / workshop etc will have an adverse impact on your work and mark ...
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Spoda
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Some people can just learn better at home, attendance should not be mandatory. I have achieved a First Class in Computer Science with an attendance of below 30% overall - simply because, I study better at home.
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