After a long 18 months, Irish colleges are set to re-open for in-person learning from September next month. Tens of thousands of students will arrive on campuses, some for the first time even though they are in their second year of study. What will it look like for these students? How will the Covid-19 pandemic affect student life this coming academic year?
Studying and academic activity are deemed as essential and as such lectures are set to resume without vaccination checks. It is, however, being reported that lecture sizes will be reduced – NUIG is putting an eighty per cent limit capacity on classes larger than 100 students. Mask wearing will be mandatory for lectures and trips to the student bar will be subject to the current hospitality guidlines.
While remote learning has been hailed as the future – the soft skills students learn by remote learning will certainly stand to them in the workplace, surely there is no replacement for the social on campus experience.
It will be an interesting experience for all those returning to in-person teaching and learning in colleges across Ireland and we wish them all good luck.