News & Media

Minister must clarify plans for Christmas exams

19 November 2021

Statement by Senator Annie Hoey
Spokesperson on Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science

Labour’s further and higher education spokesperson and health committee member Senator Annie Hoey has written to Minister Harris asking him to clarify if student exams will be going ahead in person, rather than online, in light of the increase in Covid cases.

Senator Hoey said:

“I have been inundated with contact from students’ unions and college administrators seeking guidance on this issue from government. There is growing concern in further and higher education institutions about the holding of exams in the traditional exam hall style rather than online, which has been the practice over the last 18 months due to Covid 19.

“The next few weeks will be crunch point for us all in our Covid journey and with the consistent rise in Covid-19 cases these past number of weeks, guidance is urgently needed so that students and examiners alike can know that they are safe during this period. Indeed, many students will be travelling from university towns and cities to their home place after the exams, and there is no need for unnecessary risks of Covid spreading at a community level.

“In light of this, the Department must publish updated recommended guidelines for student exams this Christmas. We must be assured that we are doing everything we can to protect further and higher education students and staff. I have written to Minister Harris to provide updated guidance and outline how the HEIs can deliver a safe and secure means of examination over the coming weeks.”