- Lifestyle & Sports
- 17 Jul 20
The universities, also "eagerly" await the finalisation of context-specific public health guidelines for third-level, as these guidelines are a further crucial ingredient in planning for the next academic year.
On July 17th, a statement was issued via the Irish Universities Association, detailing that the universities represented by the association are "revising plans for the safe induction of new students to campus."
This follows the announcement that Calculated Grades will not be released until September 7th.
The document states that while the IUA acknowledges the "unique challenges" faced by the Department of Eduction & Skills with regards to processing results due to the Coronavirus, the universities have expressed their surprise and disappointment with the timing of releasing final grades.
It was especially noted that there would be significant 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," the statement reads.
It was the hope of universities that they might bring in first years for induction and orientation in advance of the main body of students, but this is looking less and less possible. The press release details that the universities are working to "provide clarity in that regard as soon as possible", by keeping start dates as close to the ones originally detailed in communication with students.
Jim Miley, Director General of the IUA, 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.”
Last night, the UCD Students Union posted a letter in response to the campus reopening plan on their website, detailing their concerns for students due to mixed information.
"Students will be making significant financial decisions over the next number of days based on the information provided to them by the University," the letter reads. "Entering into rental agreements, applying for student loans and registering for programmes can cost students tens of thousands of euros on a yearly basis. These students need and deserve accurate information about their programmes enabling them to make informed decisions."