The Irish Universities Association has come out in support of The Minister of Higher and Further Education, Simon Harris, and his comments surrounding a return to in-person learning by Autumn.

In a press release, the IUA said they are “united in their commitment” to facilitate a return to campus to the greatest extent possible, in line with public health regulations. The IUA further stated “the vaccine roll out will, by the autumn, facilitate a much greater level of activity on campus than in the current year.”

The announcement has come just days after discussion among the government concerning the spacing out of 1st and 2nd jabs. This would allow for more people to receive their first vaccination faster, potentially facilitating the reopening of society and the economy by Summer.

Remote Summer Remains

Despite this positive news, University College Dublin have confirmed to students that the Summer Trimester will be taking place remotely. Register and Deputy President Mark Rodgers informed students of the decision on Monday, April 19th.

In an email to students, Rodgers stated that “Although national vaccination is now being rolled out, many of you, by virtue of age and health, are scheduled for vaccination during the summer months.  Consequently, the University has now taken the decision to commit to a continuation of the current teaching and assessment delivery arrangements for the summer trimester.”

However, the Registrar further said essential research and laboratory classes will be permitted to go ahead in person. This allowance has been in place since February 2021. 

UCD have said that if government restrictions allow for classes to take place during the summer, they “will ensure that you will continue to receive your education remotely where required.” The Summer Trimester is to take place between May 17th and August 29th.

Luke Murphy, Co-Editor.