Universities plan for safe return of students while noting disappointment with late grades

The universities represented by the IUA are now revising plans for the safe induction of new students to campus following the announcement that Calculated Grades will not now be released until September 7th.

While acknowledging the unique challenges faced by the Department of Education & Skills on processing results arising from Covid-19, the universities have expressed their surprise and disappointment with the timing of finalising grades, noting in particular the challenges faced by students and their families. Our universities will continue to place a priority on the health and safety of our students with a now more challenging prospect for our reopening.

Now that the date for releasing grades is set, all universities are actively revising their plans to receive first year students. It had been hoped to bring in first years for induction and orientation in advance of the main body of students. That may not now be possible. Our universities are now working to provide clarity in that regard as soon as possible, with start dates as close as possible to those originally communicated to our students.

The Director General of the IUA, Jim Miley, said: “The focus of our universities now is to give clarity to students as early as possible. Each university will quickly finalise their revised plans based on the delayed date for grades release. Our priority is to ensure that first year students are given the necessary welcome and induction and to ensure the safe return of all students to campus.

The late publication of grades raises significant challenges for students and third level colleges but we do recognise the very challenging circumstances that have arisen following the decision to replace the Leaving Cert with the Calculated Grades system. Our resources and expertise are available as always to assist in this regard. We will continue to work with government departments and student representative bodies in order to ensure the best possible outcome for students.”

The universities, as with all third colleges, are also eagerly awaiting the finalisation of context-specific public health guidelines for third-level which the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science has pledged to finalise as soon as possible. These guidelines are a further crucial ingredient in planning for the next academic year.


For more information contact:

Lia O’Sullivan, Head of Communications, IUA 085 7141414  lia.osullivan@iua.ie