Fórsa has welcomed the publication of guidance on re-opening higher education and further education campuses to staff and students for the start of the coming academic year.
Published this week, the guidance advises that a two metre social distance must be maintained on campus. Students are advised to use face coverings while on campus, and staff are directed to use appropriate PPE, such as face visors and coverings.
New deep cleaning regimes must also be introduced, according to the advice to employers.
Employers in both sectors are to receive new funding as part of a €160 million package of measures aimed at providing support to institutions to cope with the challenges of Covid-19. This is in addition to the provision of limited financial assistance to students for accessing technology, for which €16 million is to be provided.
The head of Forsa’s Education Division Andy Pike said the curriculum is to be delivered through blended learning – mixing online and classroom teaching – in order to reduce the number of students on campus at any one time.
“Graduation ceremonies will be either scaled down to involve only a small number of people or will be conducted online without social distancing requirements. Staff in higher education and further education will continue to work remotely unless their work is considered essential,” he said.
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