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Update from Provost, Vice Provost/Chief Academic Officer, Chair of the Resumption of Teaching Group to students

18 September 2020

Dear Trinity student,

We are writing to you to inform you about new measures in Trinity following the Government’s decision to move Dublin to Level 3 of the Framework of Restrictive Measures in Response to COVID-19. In the context of moving to Level 3, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science has asked the Dublin universities to reduce student numbers on campus for the coming weeks as part of a wider plan to reduce the number of Covid-19 cases in the capital.

The government has confirmed that higher education is a priority. Trinity will welcome new and returning students to commence learning according to the timetables provided earlier this week. However, following new government guidelines that only teaching which cannot readily be delivered online should be delivered in person, we will have to transfer some teaching that had been planned for in person to online.

In person teaching in the Faculty of Health Sciences and in the Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics and Science will continue as planned either because it is laboratory, practical or other teaching requiring physical presence or because it is required for professional accreditation. Trinity had always planned this approach to teaching in these faculties.

However, if your course is in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences some of the timetabled in person teaching will need to be moved online until the present restrictions are lifted. Your School or Course Office will be in contact with you with further details next week. It is important to say that not all teaching will move online because some of it may be deemed to be essential for in person delivery by the academics involved in teaching the course, or by accrediting bodies. Furthermore the timetables will not change because teaching will just switch from in person to online.

It is important to stress that:

  • All research activity will continue.
  • All lab-based work and practicals will take place.
  • The Libraries will remain open. The library will post more information about this on its website.
  • We will have some in person events to welcome to new students to College but more limited than previously envisaged.
  • The Buttery will remain open to offer a takeaway service.
  • Travel to/from the university by public transport is permitted for education and teaching purposes.

Trinity will also take further measures to reduce risks of virus transmission on campus. These include the suspension of extracurricular activities that require physical gathering for the present time, the creation of some one-way pedestrian routes in the campus so that contact can be avoided, and only coming on campus if you have face-to-face teaching activities.

We will continue to update you by email and social media but please also look at the www.tcd.ie/about/coronavirus for answers to detailed questions.

We know that this news will be extremely disappointing for many students. It is not what we would have wished, but these measures are mandated and are in the public interest.

In the meantime, please do stay safe and well.

Best regards

Patrick Prendergast – Provost
Jürgen Barkhoff – Vice Provost/Chief Academic Officer
Áine Kelly, Chair of the Resumption of Teaching Group