College has stated that they plan to put a cap on the number of students who will be allowed to defer places in the next academic term.
The plan comes after a leaked Higher Education Authority (HEA) report that said a “significant” number of students are likely to defer from taking college places this year.
Universities are facing an 80% drop in incoming international students, as well as a 20% drop in the number of current international students.
In the UK, 25% of students have deferred college places for the next academic year.
Students are choosing to defer from the next academic year as universities have admitted that most, if not all, lectures must be given online. Many incoming students believe this will mean missing out on some social aspects of college, such as Freshers’ Week.
Speaking to the Irish Mail today, a spokesperson for Trinity said they were aware of the problem but said it must limit deferrals to “protect” the following year’s new applicants.
College stated: “Trinity College will endeavour to grant as many deferral requests as it can, bearing in mind that a sufficient number of places have to be retained for students who will be applying for admission in 2021.”
There is speculation that other years will likely defer, not just incoming first years.
Speaking on the matter, Clare Austick, who is president of National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) Students’ Union, said that because places will not be offered until later in the summer, it is impossible to tell how many will attempt to defer.
She added that she has already heard of many who intend to delay going to college or “put off” coming back if they are already enrolled.
She stated: “You can understand it. It costs a lot of money to live in Galway and what’s the point in it if you are remote learning.”
“And if you come from rural parts and are trying to learn remotely, the quality of broadband isn’t always up to it. I imagine that NUIG will have to limit the numbers deferring too,” she added.
The leaked HEA report also highlighted the financial loss which will face the sector. There is an estimated shortfall of at least €500 million in this year and next year.
The report states that significant Government intervention in the form of a financial support package is required to help institutions through this crisis.
College announced on Friday that they would be facilitating Erasmus in the upcoming academic term. This comes after many universities across the country cancelled the programme, including University College Dublin (UCD).