Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, has said that the third level sector will recommence onsite activity on the basis of the continued operation of the Safe Return plan
This follows the Minister’s meeting today with student, staff and management stakeholders.
Minister Harris said:
“Education is an essential service and I am pleased to confirm the reopening of third level onsite will proceed consistent with public health advice from Monday. Our priority will be teaching and learning.
“There is a staggered reopening of third level with five of our higher education colleges reopening on Monday and a further five reopening the following week. Others will follow throughout the course of the month. Apprentices are already on-site in the technological sector continuing their training.
“Since third level reopened in September, public health teams have been working with third level providers to ensure staff and students can safely access education. Last month, we provided a fund of €9 million fund to purchase antigen tests for staff and students to provide an extra layer of protection. This will continued to be rolled out over the coming weeks and months.”
Minister Harris confirmed his Department is also working with the Health Service Executive to roll out Vaccination Week again this semester to ensure students can access their boosters.
Colleges will operate in line with the Safe Return plan, which provides a detailed framework
for a safe return to campus which enabled the successful return to and remaining onsite, in higher and further education and training since last October.
Implementation of the plan in campuses and other educational settings will continue to be oversee by the Department working closely with partners across higher and further education and training.