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Higher education bosses announce ‘safe return’ to campus in September with ‘maximum on-site presence’ expected

Higher education bosses announce ‘safe return’ to campus in September with ‘maximum on-site presence’ expected

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COLLEGES and universities have announced their plans for a safe return to campus in September, with “maximum on-site presence” expected.

Three higher education associations have joined together to give a statement, announcing their plans for a safe return to campus this coming academic year.

safe return
Third-level students are expecting to return to campus in September

A statement from the group said institutions will commit to following Government guidance regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.

As well as the use of facemasks “in indoor on-site shared settings”, optimising ventilation systems, and actively managing large lectures through occupancy and time limits will also take place.

Chair of IUA and President of NUI Galway Prof Ciaran O hOgartaigh said: “We are looking forward to welcoming our students back to our campuses.

“We are determined to put in place all the measures advised by public health to make the return to campus safe and sustainable for our students, our staff and for society.

“A key element of this determination is personal as well as institutional responsibility and we urge all our students to take up the offer of a vaccination in good time for September.”


The joint approach from the higher education institutions builds on the Safe Return Plan published by Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science in June.

It outlines the range of mitigation measures that will be implemented across the sector to provide for a safe reopening.

According to the statement, the institutions will ensure that campus operations are carried out with minimal risk to individuals, adhere to standard hygiene measures, and actively manage large lecture theatres in particular to name a few.


Technological Higher Association Chair Prof Vincent Cunnane said: “On behalf of the THEA institutions, we are delighted to be bringing back significantly greater numbers of students for the coming Academic Year.

“Building on the ‘Safe Return Plan’ provides confidence to students and staff.

“I would urge all students to avail of the opportunity to get vaccinated to add to that level of confidence and to allow for a full student experience for the upcoming term.”