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Update from Vice-Provost/Chief Academic Officer and College Secretary to students and staff

5 January 2021

Dear Students and Staff,

We hope you had a safe and restful break.

While there are reasons to be hopeful for 2021, the opening weeks and months of the new year undoubtedly present challenges. In light of the growing number of COVID-19 cases across the country, the Government will meet tomorrow (January 6) to discuss new restrictions that are likely to have a further impact on university life. There is then likely to be further clarification from various Government departments later on Wednesday or Thursday about the decision.

We will write to you by Friday with details on how these new measures will affect second semester teaching, exams, assessments, access to the libraries and accommodation as well as research.

We understand that many of you will want clear guidance today on what is going to happen but we will be meeting to consider the Government’s guidelines and how we can offer the best possible student experience in light of the national landscape. Your safety is our priority and we are very aware of the delicate balance that we will have to strike between safety and accommodating student education. 

In the meantime, it is essential that everybody follows the existing guidelines by restricting their movements as far as possible, limiting social interaction to as few people as possible and maintaining good hygiene. If you have any doubt about what to do, please refer to the HSE website which gives extensive information about how to reduce the risk to you and others.

The University will continue to update its coronavirus pages with details about access to the campus and other matters here.

To be clear, semester 1 assessments will take place. Teaching in semester 2 will be delivered and the format will be communicated later this week. We will continue to focus on students and staff well-being, safety, and the best education and research possible under the circumstances.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Jürgen Barkhoff, Vice-Provost/Chief Academic Officer
An tOllamh Jürgen Barkhoff, An Leas-Phropast/Príomhoifigeach Acadúil/Agus An Leas-Uachtharán

John Coman, Secretary to the College
Seán Ó Comáin, Rúnaí an Choláiste