Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has confirmed that third level universities will be permitted to reopen on-campus from September for the academic year, they will be permitted to open as an “essential service”.
The Government is granting €105 million to the reopening of the sector, with a further €21 million for extra student supports.
Harris said the financial support will allow colleges reopen on-campus learning “in-line with public health advice”.
“Today, the government confirmed third-level education is an essential service and will return safely on-site in September,” Harris said.
“Third-level education has been primarily online for almost a year and a half and this is not sustainable. The Plan for a Safe Return On-Site includes the return of lectures, with some modifications to overall numbers and specific mitigation measures.”
“This past 18 months has been a really difficult time for students, particularly those vulnerable learners. Covid-19 has had an effect on many people’s mental health. We need to ensure our students are supported as they get back to campus,” Harris continued.
Harris said universities will have significant on-campus learning, regardless of Covid-19 spikes.