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Third Level Institutions

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 7 July 2020

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Questions (380, 444)

Patrick O'Donovan


380. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a field hospital on the grounds of the University of Limerick will impact on the potential reopening of the university in September 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13834/20]

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Cathal Crowe


444. Deputy Cathal Crowe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if she will issue guidance to third-level institutions on when they should reopen in view of the fact many students are now in the position in which they need to be looking for accommodation but they are not sure when they will be back at college. [14285/20]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 380 and 444 together.

To assist with the development of plans for the re-opening and operation of higher education in an environment that may require social distancing and other public health requirements, the Department of Education and Skills is engaging with relevant stakeholders from the higher education sector. The importance of informing students of arrangements for the new semester in a timely manner forms part of these discussions and all those involved are committed to this. This work is ongoing, and it is hoped that a communication for the sector will be published in the coming weeks.

However Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are autonomous institutions and are entitled to regulate their own academic affairs and administrative processes. Decisions on how courses will operate will be made by each institution, and arrangements will vary between institutions and between courses. The HEIs will communicate the arrangements for the new academic year to students as soon as these arrangements have been finalised. Questions on arrangements for a specific institution or course should be directed to the institution in question.