September 18, 2020

Statement of the Higher Education Colleges Association (HECA) on the enhanced measures in response to increased COVID-19 levels in Dublin

    We are now on the verge of a significant intake of students into each of our colleges.   Each HECA college is open and fully prepared and looks forward to welcoming students to the new academic year.

    The top priority of all HECA colleges is the protection of their staff and student communities while on campus.   It is also a priority to protect the communities outside of our colleges.   HECA colleges have significantly invested and implemented robust measures that will protect our students, staff and communities and reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus.   We have continuously worked with the tertiary education sector, the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and take the guidance and advice of the public health authorities on public health measures on-campus.

    HECA member institutions are cognisant of the potential volume, density, and movement of students at the beginning of an academic year. Hence, in response to a request from NPHET and the government for enhanced measures for the safe opening of campuses, including the requirements of Level 3 on the government framework of living with COVID-19 and the need for greater restricted movements in Dublin; HECA colleges based in Dublin, are significantly reducing on-campus delivery resulting in all students taking the majority of their classes online. This will greatly reduce travel to and on-campus.

    Our higher education institutions will continue to be open for critical onsite and essential small group and library activities but on a staggered basis, and have taken extra measures to ensure that there will not be any congregation of students onsite whilst ensuring that robust public health measures are implemented at all times. Individual colleges will communicate with all incoming students about the enhanced arrangements during the Level 3 period and their own role in reducing the levels of COVID-19. 

    HECA colleges are committed to doing everything possible to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

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