IUA Statement 18.09.20 - Dublin universities introduce enhanced measures in response to increased Covid-19 incidence

All universities to re-open with safety of staff and students prioritised

The universities in Dublin have agreed a set of enhanced measures in response to a request from government / NPHET to deal with the rising incidence of Covid-19 in the county. All universities already have detailed plans in place for the safe re-opening of campus over the next two weeks. Arising from the request from government, Dublin universities have made further provisions as follows:

  • Universities will use discretion when deciding between onsite and remote for the scheduling of particular activities where remote delivery is feasible during this period.
  • On-campus provision will be minimised with priority given to teaching and learning that can only take place on-site.
  • This will include teaching and research in laboratories, practical tuition and workshops.
  • It will also include limited planned on-site attendance for other priority student cohorts.  This may include small tutorials and elements of first-year orientation / induction which cannot be undertaken on line, so long as these are conducted on a staggered basis to avoid congregation or large on-site attendances.
  • University libraries will remain open with strict social distancing protocols and entry registration.
  • All research activities will continue as normal.
  • Social / club activities on-campus will be suspended until further notice.

In addition, the universities will ensure that all necessary health protection measures are in place and that there will be clear communication to students and staff in this regard.  This is underpinned by national guidance for the further and higher education sectors and by more detailed implementation guidelines developed by public health experts.

Individual universities will communicate revised plans to students and staff. It is anticipated that these additional measures will be reviewed after an initial period in view of evolving public health advice.

Outside of Dublin, all other universities are continuing with their plans to re-open and to welcome students onto campus based on their blended learning approach for the coming semester.

The IUA is also collaborating with other sectoral stakeholders and with the Department of Further, Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science to develop a Covid-19 response Plan to deal with any incidence of Covid-19 that may occur.