By Cate McCurry, PA
The Government is to publish its plan for a return to in-person classes in third-level education in June.
The Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris said he will unveil the plan for an “enhanced campus experience” for college students for the next academic year.
Under Level 5, third level has remained online with exceptions made for practical and time critical work.
As part of the Government announcement on Thursday, it was confirmed there would be a significant increase in on-site third level activity in September.
Mr Harris said: “Over 250,000 people attend further and higher education every year.
“This year, the bulk of their work has been online.
“We know we had do it and we know why but we also know we cannot have an academic year like the last.
“We need to begin the next academic year on the right foot, get our learners and staff back onsite and start the work of preventing long term effects of the pandemic for our youngest adults.”
He added: “Today, the working group of students, colleges, staff representatives, further education and training providers and my Department has met to develop a plan for re-opening, which will be published by Government in June.
“I know this has been a tough year for students and staff but thankfully, a better year awaits you.”