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Here are the current Hopo (internal and external Hopo) listed and a bit described. The description is kept minimal, so that they are interesting for reading. But they are too simple and cannot reflect the whole complexity of a topic. Therefore read with caution and don't use this list alone to form your opinion. If you are interested in more information about a topic, please contact hopo(at)vis.ethz.ch or go to the Hopo-Treff.

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Last updated 28.11.2019


Master Reform (intern)

The master reform was accepted in the last semester and the new master regulations will come into force in HS2020. What we know so far:

  • A Master's degree is worth 120 KP and is therefore planned for 4 semesters.
  • Students choose a major (a specialization) in which they want to specialize.
  • A 4th lab will come with the new Master regulations.
  • The Master for "General Computer Science" will no longer exist. However, the model with Major and Minor is supposed to ensure that there will be a certain diversity in the Master's programme.
  • The study guide (i.e. how the Major and Minors will look exactly and which courses will be offered in which specialisation) is still open. This will only be approved this semester in December and be public in the next semester.
  • An information event is planned for the beginning of the next semester.

I speculate that there will be no big surprises in the areas of specialisation. These will probably remain the same as before, just slightly adapted and slightly changed. One reason for the Master reform was that in the current 3-semester Master programme most 4 semesters were needed. Thus one adjusts the yield to the expenditure.

Timetable Reform (extern)

A timetable reform was adopted at ETH last May. This reform is about the timetable grid and not about the content of the timetables. So far the block times were regulated in such a way that one can have lessons from 8 o'clock to 12 o'clock and then from 13 o'clock to 19 o'clock. A lunch hour from 12 o'clock to 13 o'clock was firmly regulated and only in absolute exceptional cases one had courses at this time.

Since the number of students has risen dramatically in recent years and in order to be able to use space more efficiently and to relieve the Mensen, this reform was created. Now there are possibilities to have lessons from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the day is divided into 2 hours blocks. The teaching time from 18 o'clock to 20 o'clock is to be used only in exceptional cases. Furthermore there are now 3 possible lunch blocks (10 o'clock to 12 o'clock, 12 o'clock to 14 o'clock and 14 o'clock to 16 o'clock), whereby the Mensa will be open from 11 o'clock to 15 o'clock. One of these lunch blocks must be possible for the students per day.

Students, however, tend to be negative about this reform. One would thus stay one hour longer at ETH per day. It is controversial whether this reform would also relieve the room occupancy, as it is believed that the learning places would be occupied even more as more students would have to more intermediate hours.

Further documents: (insert Dokumente zur Stundenplan Reform)

Data Policy (intern)

Some students from the department have dealt with the topic of what software is being used for teaching in lectures. A major complaint was lodged against the use of platforms such as Piazza and Slack. These are used to discuss lecture material and exercises as well as their solutions with the students online. However, these platforms are not hosted by ETH. Often students are also registered by default to such a platform from the lecture.

We understand that such platforms contribute to the quality of the lecture and support teaching, but for many platforms there are also alternatives by the ETH itself, such as Moodle for Piazza or Slack. Replacing other platforms and software seems difficult, but the Department of Education, which has been made aware of the issue by the students, is now working closely with the Department of Computer Science to jointly develop solutions.

New Seminars (intern)

There are 5 new seminars planned in the Bachelor for the FS2020.

Exit of the VSETH from the VSS (external)

The VSS is the Association of Swiss Students and represents the interests of students at federal level. The VSETH is a member of the VSS. For years, the VSTH has been dealing with the issue of whether one wants to resign. The VSETH already left the VSS in 1998 because VSETH did not have the financial means and because of tensions between the two organizations.

After the VSETH, together with the student associations of the HSG and EPFL, tried to maintain its own committee to represent the interests of the students of the three universities at the federal level, but failed, joined the VSS again in 2008. The financial situation has improved since then. The VSETH also hoped that certain problems between VSS and VSETH could improve.

Now the debate is open again as to whether the situation has really improved. The MR on 11.12.19 will vote on the following motions:

  • Withdrawal of the VSETH from the VSS
  • Establishment of an evaluation committee to re-evaluate the situation

Reasons for resignation:

  • The VSETH pays the VSS 70k CHF per year as membership fee, whereby the money could be used for other purposes.
  • The VSS also costs the VSETH time and people who could be employed in the VSETH, because the VSETH also lacks people in certain positions and committees.
  • VSETH's expenditure on the VSS is too high for what it yields as a profit.
  • The situation between VSS and VSETH has not improved sufficiently.
  • The VSETH does not always have the same political views as the VSS and is therefore not really well represented in its interests. VSETH could possibly do this on its own.

Reasons against a resignation:

  • A representation at the federal level is desired, no matter whether one is in favour or against the resignation and one doubts whether the VSETH can manage this representation on federal level alone. Unlike normal Swiss universities and colleges, the ETH, alongside the EPFL, is not regulated at the cantonal level but at the federal level.
  • The applicants for resignation do not provide a concrete alternative how the VSETH can represent itself at the federal level.
  • Some improvements have been made between VSETH and VSS.