Update, August 27: November 1 will see easing of restrictions across Trinity, despite College’s denials on August 20.
Update, August 20: College has since clarified that the school of physics’ announcement applies only to that school, and that a change in policy on November 1 will not apply to all of College or Ireland.
College-wide restrictions on large lectures are to last at least until November 1, according to the school of physics.
In an email seen by Trinity News, the school said that from the beginning of November, “all lectures will be on campus and face-to-face”.
The email did not say if the resumption of large lectures on this date would happen college-wide, but did say that social distancing requirements specifically would be relaxed then and claimed that this was a national-level decision.
College had previously announced a blanket restriction on lectures larger than 150 people from the beginning of term, mandating that they all be online, but allowed individual schools to decide whether to hold lectures of between 50 and 150 online or in-person.
The school of physics explained that the postponement of large scale lectures until November 1 is to allow all students in the 18-24 age cohort to receive both their first and second doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. The email claimed that “this is the situation for all the Irish universities”.
However, the College Tribune reported today that University College Dublin (UCD) plans to return to face-to-face teaching across the board from the beginning of the semester, with no lecture size limits and no social distancing requirements.
Until November 1, which is halfway through term and marks the beginning of Reading Week, all lectures over 50 students in the school of physics will be delivered as pre-recorded videos. All physics students will be in laboratories and tutorials, the email claimed, from the first week of term on September 13.
The email stated that the school will be required to enforce social distancing of one metre from the first week of term, which will make lectures with more than 50 people in the school impossible to hold.
The email also explained that the “re-orientation week”, beginning on September 6, is to feature on-campus activities and a tour of Trinity for senior fresh students, the vast majority of whom had no on-campus learning last year.
Teaching for continuing undergraduate and all postgraduate students is to begin on September 13. First year students will begin classes two weeks later, on September 27, to facilitate the release of leaving cert results.