International students often have less practical experice and already have more difficulties of getting internships. Will this be even more problematic when they miss practical basis at start of study program?
At the University of Leiden a Instead of 3 month practical at end of bachelor has been replaced by a 3 month writing of a proposal. This removed a lot of practical experience. Their experience is that students that do the proposal writing, do very well in the master (also in the practical courses). They gain practical skills in the 9 month internship. Of course there should be some practical experience.
Practical skills are obviously important, but are (in general) more easily taught than the thinking about designing an experiment which is generally a process in which the students evoluates over a longer period of time. Obviously, the importance of practical skills vs. ‘thinking’ skills differ per study program, per practical course and sometimes even per experiment. So when thinking of how to adjust to the current situation, you should carefully consider what is/are the most important learning goal(s) of your practical and develop a plan that enables you to at least reach that/those goal(s).