Some UCD students told courses to be entirely online

The UCDSU President described the news as “unfortunately not a surprise”

University College Dublin’s Students’ Union (UCDSU) has said that some students within the college have been told that their courses are set to be delivered entirely online for the upcoming term. 

In July, the Registrar of University College Dublin (UCD) said that undergraduate students could expect 40-60% of their learning to take place on-campus, while graduates could expect 75-100%. 

Conor Anderson, President of UCDSU, told the Irish Examiner this week that the Union are being told by some students that none of their courses will be done face-to-face.

He said: “Students have been contacting UCD Students’ Union in recent days airing their disappointment that their course is now being fully delivered online with no in-person component whatsoever.”

He continued: “It is unfortunately not a surprise, but it does illustrate how exaggerated the estimates of UCD management have been over the course of the summer. We are now being made aware that some courses will have 0% in-person teaching, just weeks before classes resume.”

UCDSU previously stated that the college was “over-promising” class time for the next academic year to fill accommodation and attract international students.

“UCD Students’ Union were worried that UCD management were over-promising class time to students since the first numbers were released,” Anderson added. 

Anderson said: “This leads to two major issues for students; one they have already signed leases in Dublin based on the knowledge that some classes would be face to face and the second major issue is that some students will have travelled from abroad to study at UCD and they will find that their course is now entirely online and they could have studied from their home country.”

According to UCD’s page of current advice for students around Covid-19 restrictions on campus, which is relevant as of September 2, the college will “aim to provide as much face-to-face teaching as possible” in the upcoming college term.

Timetables for the term will be made available for students on September 7, with registration beginning on the same date. Anderson said that the Union will wait for the release of timetables to see how many courses will be exclusively online. 

He added: “It is not fair to toy with students’ expectations like this, and we call on UCD management to communicate clearly how many courses will be fully delivered online and to explain to students why they are not following through on the promised face-to-face time.”

Previously in May, over 1000 UCD students called for fee rebates in light of Covid-19-related disruptions.

At the time, in a statement to the Irish Times, UCD said that “no compensation or tuition fee rebates for the changes in delivery are being made”, referencing the shift from in-person to online learning since the closure of schools and colleges around Ireland on March 12.

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the Editor-in-Chief of the 69th volume Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister student of English Literature and Philosophy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.