Course registration

※ This article discusses the 17th of October 2016 and before. I am a mathematics student (Faculty of Science) at Kobe University.

A university teaches students by holding courses. Because a university focuses on specialization, students have different majors and choose their field of interest. For the university, it is important how many students attend a certain course, so they can allocate resources accordingly. This is the abstract view on course registration. And these processes differ between University (of Technology) Graz and Kobe University.

University (of Technology), Graz

At University of Technology, the same procedures apply as for "University of Graz". They share the same information system software.

You get registered as a student at the respective university and followingly get a PIN to register in TUGrazOnline or UniGrazOnline. This information system allows you to check your curriculum/syllabus, search for courses and register for exams. As such the important tasks related to the course is represented in a digital form. At the beginning of the semester, you look the curriculum/syllabus of your studies. Specially you look at your respective semester to determine which courses you are suggested to take. You can check all dates for the course and if you think it fits your schedule, you register. To register for a course, you click on "Course registration", select your studies and confirm it. Then you are done. Be aware that most courses have a specific time frame within course registration is possible. If there are 3 assignments in some practicals, you cannot join right before the third assignment is due. Hence, you should check which courses you want to register and apply for them.

Kobe University

At Kobe University, you are registered at a specific faculty and therefore the faculty is responsible for registering you.

At the beginning of the semester, you have roughly 2 weeks at university to try out courses; at least on my faculty it was 2 weeks. One week is suggested as soft deadline on the Faculty of Intercultural Studies with a hard deadline after 2 weeks. The 2 weeks help you a lot if you just arrived as exchange student and had only little opportunity to attend classes in the first week. You might be busy with setting up Health insurance, residence registration or alike. Also professor’s might be still absent for a conference and classes might be cancelled for one time. All of this was true for me.

To the best of my knowledge, BEEF is used as an e-learning system to share teacher’s documents with students. URIBO-NET, on the other hand, is actually used for course registration. You can register for a selection of courses. At this point in time, I cannot state how many courses you can actually register. First, because the majority of the content is available only in Japanese, I can only read parts of it. You can also see on the website how much content is embedded in images, making it impossible to copy and paste it into a dictionary. Secondly, the search interface (to actually find the courses) is incredible inconvenient. You can compare this with Syllabus, where searching is very difficult.

Let us make a small test: Assume we want to find the course "Elementary Japanese Listening and Speaking", I am attending this semester.

  1. Click "display English" in the Syllabus.

  2. Click "Search (Keyword etc.)"

  3. Enter "Elementary Japanese Listening and Speaking" as "Course title"

  4. I won’t tell you the Department, instructor or timetable code as you won’t know them by the first time you hear of this course. Leave them blank.

  5. At the beginning, I was not sure, but now I can confirm that leaving all possible semesters, days and periods is fine. First, I thought I didn’t get any results, because I didn’t tick those 20 checkboxes. Leave them unticked.

  6. Click "Search".

  7. "No data found of your condition class. Please change search condition" will appear in red font.

  8. Remove "and", hence enter "Elementary Japanese Listening Speaking" as course title.

  9. A set of courses such as "Elementary Japanese Listening and Speaking B" will be found.

  10. Recognize that "Elementary Japanese Listening and Speaking" is as close as "Elementary Japanese Listening Speaking" to "Elementary Japanese Listening and Speaking B".

In the end, I filled out a sheet of paper with all my courses listed per period. I submitted the form on the day of the deadline (Monday, 17th of October 2016) and the office lady was busy the following days to register me for my courses. I need to point out I was already registered for my bachelor thesis course.