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Update from College Secretary and Senior Lecturer/Dean of Undergraduate Studies to students

2 September 2020

Dear students

As September starts, we are sure that you are thinking more than ever about what your return to College will look like.

Below are some updates we want to share with you:

Orientation Week

As you will be aware, Orientation Week starts on Monday 21 September for all postgraduate and undergraduate visiting and Erasmus students, and from 28 September for new undergraduate students.

Unfortunately, this year it is not possible for the annual Freshers’ Fair to take place due to public health regulations. However, a clubs and societies exhibition is being planned instead with large poster boards dispersed throughout the campus and a huge variety of exciting online initiatives will also be happening.

The Provost plans to address some students in person at the Orientation Address which will be live streamed as well.

Face coverings

You will have seen in the media this week that NPHET has reinforced the importance of face coverings. We would like to remind you again that face coverings are now mandatory for all teaching and learning events for all students and staff, in all the Libraries and in internal public spaces on campus. Please comply with this requirement in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.


Timetables will be published on 14 September at the latest. The University Council has mandated that as much face-to-face teaching as possible should be scheduled for all students – any individual requests from students to attend their teaching and learning activities wholly online for semester 1 will be considered on a case-by-case basis and granted only in exceptional circumstances based on financial hardship, underlying documented medical condition, immunocompromised and/or any disabled student requests.

Requests from undergraduate students for courses to be taken online will be dealt with centrally by Student Cases while postgraduate students should approach their course director. It should be noted that such cases should be considered the exception rather than the norm and there will be no fee reduction for any student who is granted permission to attend wholly online.

HSE testing centre on campus

We are proactively setting up a staff and student HSE testing service for symptomatic people or close contacts of confirmed cases which will be up and running in time for semester 1. This will help prevent clusters developing in the College community. We would like to thank Dr David McGrath, Director of the College Health Centre and his colleagues for their work on this.

Stay safe. Stay well.

Kind regards

John Coman
Secretary to the College Professor

Kevin Mitchell
Senior Lecturer/Dean of Undergraduate Studies