HECA member HEIs are looking forward to welcoming many more members of the community back to campus this autumn to resume in-person academic and work activities. Our plan to return to campus-based operations is based on The Plan for a safe return to on-site further and higher education and research and is subject to change given the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While each HEI will do their own risk assessment and have discretion in managing numbers at lectures, HECA HEIs concur on the following principles with respect to the safe return to on-campus:
- Commitment to maximise the on-campus experience for the learners but with proper safety protocols in place to support learners and staff.
- The scale and scope of provision of on-campus large-scale lectures are largely context dependent and will be operated at a local scale. Social distancing will be appropriate to the space available.
- Timetable arrangements will facilitate people not congregating.
- Most lectures will be recorded.
- A full range of sanitation facilities will be utilised.
- Wearing of face masks required on-campus.
- COVID-19 Respiratory Hygiene posters will be visible on-campus.
- Maximise ventilation on-campus and the use of ventilation aids such as CO2 monitors as appropriate.
- Vaccine certificates, i.e. the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) or the HSE Vaccination Card will be the primary evidence used for indoor dining on-campus (operational in accordance with public health advice on workplace canteens/hospitality). All on-campus canteens/hospitality will offer take away service.
- Students and staff will be encouraged to take up offers of a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Graduations- most HEIs are planning for an in-person graduation.
- Inductions- HEIs will offer face-to-face, online and hybrid versions of induction.
- All HEIs have a COVID-19 Outbreak Contingency Plan.