Ireland has brought the Covid-19 virus under control and, via the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Business and Society, the country is steadily returning to normal.
University of Limerick updates on planning for the new academic year, which will start on 28 September. A small number of our programmes will begin before the formal start of semester and those registered with one of these programmes, you will receive a separate communication. Like all Irish universities, UL has been carefully planning the best way to deliver an engaging and intellectually-enriching academic programme, while at the same time ensuring the health and safety of our students. The University of Limerick has a proud record of providing outstanding support for our international students.
University of Limerick has developed plans for academic delivery under four different levels:
Level A: lockdown.
Level B: 2m physical distancing.
Level C: 1m physical distancing.
Level D: no physical distancing, but stringent cleanliness and hygiene.
At present, the University is at Level B. Its academic delivery at Level B is based on two fundamental principles:
The circuit breaker: students will study face-to-face classes for five days at a time, then study online for 10-15 days. This will prevent the uncontrolled spread of any potential outbreak amongst the student body.
Social bubbles: students will study face-to-face with their own year cohort and, where they live on campus, most of their social interactions will be with other residents in their student village. This will also reduce the risk of infection and make ‘test and trace’ much easier should anyone become unwell.
Under the present public health guidelines, international students will be required to ‘self-isolate’ for 14 days before the start of the semester. This means you should arrange to arrive in Ireland by Sunday 13 September, if you plan to start classes on 28 September. (If your programme starts before 28 September, we will be in contact separately to make special arrangements.)
For international students arriving in Ireland on the weekend of 12-13 September, the University has made arrangements to meet student at Dublin or Shannon Airport to facilitate your transfer to Limerick. Students are strongly encouraged to reserve your place in one of our award-winning student villages that comprise communities of small apartments (with 4-8 study bedrooms, with en suite bathrooms) and shared kitchens and living areas. This will ensure safe and comfortable self-isolation on your arrival, with the option of having meals being delivered to your room.
Timetable will identify the weeks you have scheduled face-to-face teaching activities on campus. New students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, will begin with a week of face-to-face teaching activities on 28 September to introduce you to your teaching staff and build a supportive learning group with your fellow students. Thereafter, you will have periods of online study (to provide the circuit breaker), supported by one-week blocks of face-to-face teaching activities to ensure you have opportunities for practical hands-on and experiential learning.
Returning students will start their programmes online and their first week of face-to-face teaching activity will be scheduled for October. You will require access to a laptop to maximise your engagement during the weeks when you are learning online and, if you choose to live in private rented accommodation off-campus rather than in a student village, you will need to have a good broadband connection.