20% of year 2&3 students have no ‘real friends’ at university

Posted in Research on July 19th, 2021 by steve

“One in every five students in years two and three in the United Kingdom say they don’t have a ‘real friend’ at university, according to a survey of more than 12,000 students nationally. The finding has renewed fears that students are struggling with loneliness and declining mental health. Some 42% of students have experienced suicidal thoughts at some time, the survey reveals …” (more)

[Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 17 July]

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Decision due soon on large lectures at third-level in September

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on July 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Government is likely to decide within the next two weeks whether third-level students will be able to attend larger-scale lectures when they return to college in September. The Cabinet is expected to meet on July 19th when a decision is due to be made about large-scale lectures which in some universities can include up to 500 students …” (more)

[Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 8 July]

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Has the Government Jumped the Gun Again on College Reopening?

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on June 28th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Has Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris – once again – jumped the gun on college reopening plans? Just over two weeks ago, the government announced the re-opening plans for next year for third level, promising that college students would have some in-person teaching in the coming academic year …” (more)

[University Times, 27 June]

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Stop Using the Language of ‘Normal’ for Face-to-Face Academic Work

Posted in Life on June 28th, 2021 by steve

“Much of the language we hear about the Fall 2021 semester is about a call to ‘return to normal’. For colleges and universities that offer a predominantly residential education, ‘normal’ is assumed to mean (among other things) the return of students, faculty, and staff to campus …” (more)

[Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, 27 June]

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Minister Harris publishes plan for re-opening of third level education from September

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on June 16th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today (Tuesday) published the plan for a safe return to on-site activity for September 2021. Higher and further education and training, and research, are essential activities, and the plan for the 2021/22 academic year is for mainly on-site activity for all students, learners, and staff …” (more)

[MerrionStreet.ie, 16 June]

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IUA Welcomes Cabinet Approval and Publication of a Plan for the Safe Return to Campus in the Autumn

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on June 16th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The IUA warmly welcomes the publication of the Plan for a safe return for further and higher education and research in 2021/22 by Minister Simon Harris. Staff and students in our universities eagerly anticipate a safe return to as comprehensive a range of on-campus activities as possible for the next academic year, including large scale teaching …” (more)

[IUA, 15 June]

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USI welcomes plan for holistic re-opening of third-level campuses

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on June 15th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Union of Students in Ireland welcomes the plan published today, which aims to re-open campuses and have most third-level activity back on site from the start of the new academic year. Along with getting students back into lectures and classrooms, that the plan also allows for the reopening of libraries, cafes, canteens and bars, as well as the restarting of club, society and sporting activity is particularly welcome …” (more)

[USI, 15 June]

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A Safe Return to on-site further and higher education and research

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on June 15th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“On 29 April 2021 the government made a commitment to a significant increase in on-site further education and training, higher education and research from the beginning of the next academic year. Higher and further education and training, and research are essential activities, and so the plan for 2021/22 is for mainly on-site activity for all students, learners, and staff …” (more)

[gov.ie, 15 June]

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Colleges get green light to reopen with large-scale lectures to resume from September

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on June 15th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Large-scale lectures are set to resume as the Government gives the green light for the reopening of college campuses in September. After more than a year of online learning, all students in higher and further education will be back on site in the autumn. Chief medical officer Tony Holohan has told Minister Simon Harris that colleges can prepare for the resumption of maximum attendances, including large-scale lectures …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 15 June]

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First year college classes must not start before September 27 – students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on June 10th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Second-level student leaders say teaching of first years in third-level colleges must start no earlier than September 27, following the announcement that Leaving Cert result won’t issue until September 3. Colleges have been reviewing their schedules and some, including UCD, DCU, UCC, NUI Galway and Maynooth University, have decided on a September 27 start for tuition, but details are awaited from across the sector …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 10 June]

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College campus reopening plan to allow large lectures, sports activity and societies

Posted in Governance and administration on June 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Large lecture theatres, sports facilities, bars and canteens are set to reopen in colleges and universities from September under a new framework being finalised by Government. In addition, students will be given the option to pay monthly for accommodation in case there is a fourth wave of Covid-19. This is aimed at ensuring students and their families do not lose out on deposits or rent, as happened in some cases last year …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 8 June]

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Aim to have students and staff back on campus this year

Posted in Teaching on June 4th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris has said he expects students and staff to be back on campus for the new academic year. Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Harris said he also expects that most students returning to college will have been fully vaccinated, ‘and obviously staff generally being older than the students should also be overwhelmingly vaccinated’ …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 3 June]

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What will college life be like in the new academic year?

Posted in Life, Teaching on June 1st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The coming academic year will be like no other in the history of further and higher education, both within Ireland and internationally. Third-year undergraduate students will be returning to colleges they last attended in person in March 2020 during the early weeks of semester two in their fresher year …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 1 June]

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‘I’m a year into college and don’t know any of my classmates … I couldn’t tell anyone apart without a mask’

Posted in Life on May 4th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“University student Aoife Corcoran feels the pandemic stopped her from saying ‘goodbye’ to school and starting college life, despite being almost a year into university …” (more)

[Laura Lynott, Independent, 4 May]

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College during Covid: ‘I can’t say I’ve made any friends’

Posted in Life on April 28th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Difficult though it is to accept that it was 20 years ago, I can still remember my first day of college very vividly, particularly the feeling that this was the beginning of a new and very exciting chapter in my life. I met people that day who would become close friends, bonding over the experiences we shared over four years. The nights (and afternoons) out, the disastrous attempts to complete projects at the last minute, the trips away and the bizarre scrapes in which we found ourselves …” (more)

[Conor Wilson, RTÉ News, 27 April]

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IUA Welcomes Harris’s Comments on Reopening of Universities Next Semester

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 21st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Universities Association (IUA) today welcomed Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris’s recent comments in favour of a ‘substantial reopening’ of universities next semester. The Irish Independent reported yesterday that Harris said that the two-metre social distancing rule would likely be replaced with a ‘one metre with a mask’ rule …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 20 April]

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Colleges now planning for ‘substantial return’ of students to campus in autumn

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 19th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Third-level and further education colleges are drawing up plans for the widest possible return of students in the autumn. It won’t be ‘business as usual’ because some public-health restrictions are expected to be still in place when the new academic year gets under way in September. Much will depend on the progress of the vaccination programme and the extent of the threat from Covid-19, including from any new variants …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 19 April]

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Chemistry Staff Slam College’s Ruling on COVID Guidelines in Laboratories

Posted in Governance and administration on April 10th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Staff members in the School of Chemistry have expressed frustration at the recent cancellation of in-person laboratory practicals, alleging that Trinity is out of touch with the reality of the situation. In March, this newspaper reported that Trinity had introduced new rules mandating in-person activities be a maximum of one hour and 45 minutes in length in order to prevent people working in the same room from being labelled as ‘close contacts’ by the HSE …” (more)

[Jody Druce, University Times, 8 April]

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Concern student outbreaks could affect on-site learning

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on March 26th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon has told university chiefs that he is concerned Covid-19 outbreaks among students could have a negative impact for on-campus learning in the next academic year …” (more)

[Éilís Sheehy, RTÉ News, 26 March]

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Students likely to be back on campus in September, Harris says

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on March 25th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Third-level students are likely to be back on university and college campuses next September, according to the Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris. Plans were already in place for such a possibility, the Minister told Newstalk Breakfast. The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine programme means ‘we will be in a different place’ …” (more)

[Vivienne Clarke, Breakingnews.ie, 25 March]

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