University of Limerick reveals when it hopes to re-open

University of Limerick reveals when it hopes to re-open

The University of Limerick campus in Castletroy has been closed since the onset of Covid-19 | PICTURE: ADRIAN BUTLER

THE University of Limerick (UL) has revealed that it hopes to re-open at the end of September – but new students may not arrive until November.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the college’s campus in Castletroy has only had extremely limited access, with all teaching now taking place online.

However, this Thursday in a letter to students, UL’s critical operations team and executive committee stated it was looking to welcome its second, third, fourth plus new and existing postgraduate students back to its campus on Monday, September 28.

This date is not set in stone, and may need to be revised, with the letter stating: “The health of staff, students and the wider community is paramount in our considerations.”

If the Leaving Certificate exams take place from the end of July as the government currently intends, it’s anticipated incoming first year students will arrive at the start of November.

“However, the date for entry of first years depends on many factors, including when the Leaving Certificate takes place as well as the completion of CAO offers and acceptance of places,” the team warns.

At this stage it is hoped that the second semester the college term will begin for all students on Monday, January 25, 2021.

With social distancing still likely to be in place in some form in September, the college’s critical operations team says lectures will still take place online, but the campus will be accessible to allow students attend “face to face laboratory classes, studio time and some seminars and tutorials.”

“This will be limited in order to insure the health and safety of our community and to work within the government restrictions. Any planned approach will need to take account of the possibility that future full or partial closures may well be called for at short notice,” the letter stated.

There is bad news for many students who were planning to study at UL – or at another university abroad – next semester, with travel restrictions leading to the suspension of all Erasmus and non-EU exchange mobility programmes.

“Alternative programmes will be put in place for those UL students who had been scheduled to study abroad for their autumn semester. We realise that this is very disappointing for students, but at present it is the only safe option,” the team added.

The university has been largely closed off since the end of last month.

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