The Irish Universities Association (IUA) has warmly welcomed the Further and Higher Education Roadmap announced by Minister Simon Harris on 22 July 2020.
A funding package of €168 million accompanies the practical guidance offered in the Roadmap. This package is expected to stabilise the higher education and research system.
Jim Miley, Director General of the IUA said:
“Today’s announcement by Minister Harris is tangible evidence of the government’s recognition of the key role that higher education and research has in helping to reboot the economy. It follows through on the commitment to the sector as represented by the establishment of a separate government Department.
“The COVID fund provides universities with the immediate resources to plan and implement teaching and research programmes for the new academic year and ensure that the quality of those programmes is underpinned to deliver the best student experience possible.”
Campuses of the universities represented by the IUA are continuing to reopen in phased ways. Following the announcement by the Department of Education & Skills that Leaving Certificate Calculated Grades will be released on 7 September for processing through the CAO, revised plans for the start of the next academic year (2020/21) are as follows:
Commencement of new term
In order to minimise disruption to the academic cycle and student experience, Semester 1 2020/21 starting dates of teaching are slightly later than in previous years. They are planned as follows:
DCU: 5 October;
MU: 28 September;
NUI Galway: 28 September;
TCD: 28 September;
UCC: 28 September;
UCD: 21 September;
UL: 28 September.
A small number of disciplines/ programmes traditionally have earlier starts and these will be maintained where possible.
Arrangements for First-Year Undergraduate Students
While all universities had hoped that all students would start Semester 1 2020/21 together, revised plans for first-year students are now as follows:
DCU: First-year students will begin a week or so earlier to allow for an orientation period on campus – to be confirmed by end of July;
MU: Same teaching start date, with Welcome Week for incoming first-year students in the week commencing 21 September;
NUI Galway: Same teaching start date, with orientation on 21-25 September;
TCD: First-year teaching will start on 5 October, with Orientation Week, also known as Freshers’ Week, beginning on 28 September;
UCC: Same teaching start date, with online orientation beginning on 16 September;
UCD: The start date for first-years is still being considered;
UL: Same teaching start date, with first-years scheduled to be on campus for orientation during the first week.
Modes of delivery:
- Academic planning for 2020/21 is continuing in each university, with modelling and scheduling for a blended learning/ hybrid approach ongoing.
- All universities are working towards prioritising as much on-campus face-to-face teaching & learning as is safe, complemented by as much online teaching & learning and guided independent study as is necessary.
- The universities will ensure that students receive the same quality of learning and have the opportunity for meaningful engagement despite restrictions in place.
SOURCE: Materials provided by IUA
Note: Content may be edited for style and length.