Universities Plan to Limit Student Access to Campus

By Gemma Creagh - Last update

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A recent article in The Irish Times has reported that the majority of Irish universities are making plans to limit access to campus students and replace most lectures with online tuition in the new academic year.

The idea is to reduce the time spent on campus down to a few days a week in the new academic year and replace most lectures with online tuition.

Colleges including UCD, Trinity College DublinDCU,  Maynooth University and, University College Cork  are preparing to move larger lectures online  and tutorials in small groups on campus, with the aim of minimising physical contact between students.

TCD has announced that For Semester 1, classes start on Monday 28 September and finish on Friday 18 December with Study Week running from 9-13 November. A very small number of professional courses will have different start dates and students on these courses will be advised separately. Semester 2 will start on Monday 1 February and finish Friday 23 April. Study Week will be from 15-19 March.

Semester 1 will follow a hybrid model which combines online and face to face elements such as offering online lectures for larger class groupings and face-to-face seminars, tutorials and laboratory classes for smaller groups. As much face-to-face teaching and learning as possible will be provided under prevailing health and safety requirements. A decision on the second semester will be taken closer to the time.

A Resumption of Teaching Working Group is currently working out different scenarios of how to deliver this hybrid teaching format depending on what social distancing protocols will be in force at the time. This will include scenarios for fully online delivery in the case of a second wave of COVID-19 resulting in another lockdown.

Gemma Creagh

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