Written answers

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Department of Education and Skills

Covid-19 Pandemic

Photo of Michael McNamaraMichael McNamara (Clare, Independent)
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90. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason 2021 final year students at University of Limerick cannot have a physical ceremony given that the 2020 graduates are being brought back for a physical ceremony in 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22379/21]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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The University of Limerick is an autonomous institution within the meaning of the Universities Act 1997. Under this legislation UL is independent and is entitled to regulate its own academic affairs and administrative processes, including in relation to graduations. It is not within my remit to intervene in these matters.

Level 5 measures designate higher and further education as essential insofar as onsite presence is required and such education activities cannot be held remotely. Under Level 5 higher education will continue to operate primarily online with most activities delivered remotely. 

In overall terms higher education institutions are conducting most activities online. On-site attendance is focused on activities that are on not capable of being delivered through alternative means, and are time-critical for students and learners during this period. Reflecting the scale and diversity of third-level provision, higher education institutions are best equipped to determine for themselves where onsite presence is required.

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