For science subjects, laboratory (lab) work is an essential ingredient of the course and some component of this is generally preserved, even though the amount may fall. In addition to the experience of lab work, students often derive a lot of their contact with staff in the lab setting, and compensation for this may be needed if lab time is significantly reduced. High quality lab work is expensive to provide, and it is important that we are sure that students do indeed gain all that they might from it, especially as the number of students present may have increased, more part-time demonstrators are used, and the frills have been trimmed to cut costs. The balance between fewer but better labs and more but simpler is not always easy to find, but is an important consideration.


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