News & Media

Clear guidance needed for Higher Education Institutions in Dublin

15 September 2020

Statement by Senator Annie Hoey
Spokesperson on Higher Education, Innovation and Research
  • What is meant by ‘enhanced protective measures’ for HEIs in Dublin?

Labour Higher Education spokesperson Annie Hoey has called for the publication of detailed guidelines on the recommended ‘enhanced protective measures’ needed for Covid-19 in Higher and Further Education Institutions in the face of recommended additional restrictions for Dublin.

Senator Hoey said;

“It has now been advised for Dublin that ‘higher and third level institutions should consider enhanced protective measures’ and yet no further details of what that actually looks like has been published yet. Does this mean increased use of sanitisers? Does this mean smaller class sizes? Does this mean revising already issued timetables to prevent any student coming on campus?

“We need more information from the Government on what is now required. Furthermore, what support will the Department of Higher and Further Education be providing institutions to implement these ‘enhanced protective measures’? At a time when institutions are already under enormous pressure trying to prepare for start of term-time it would seem sensible that guidelines outlining said 'enhanced protective measures' would have been published in conjunction with today's announcement.

“As it is right now HEIs and students are battling the impact of Covid-19 on a number of fronts: timetables, staffing, accommodation and deferments. If the Department is now asking Dublin colleges and universities to enhance their measures the Department have to provide clear guidelines and outline the structural, material and financial support they will be providing to help implement this.”