GMIT to operate phased return of on-site activities

GMIT to operate phased return of on-site activities

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GMIT will operate a phased return to full on-site activities in all campuses from 20 September (2021) in line with the Safe Return Plan published by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science (DFHERIS) in June and the Cabinet-approved national plan “Reframing the Challenge, Continuing Our Recovery and Reconnecting”.

First year students will commence their studies on Monday, 27 September; continuing students will resume their studies one week earlier, Monday 20 September. All students will receive email communications from their relevant School in GMIT shortly with regard to their timetable.

The “First Five Weeks Welcome and Induction Programme” will see GMIT prioritizing small group teaching activities on-site for all students such as labs, workshops, practical classes and tutorials. Some online delivery will continue this semester and some courses will be delivered in a blended format (mix of online and on-site). All Student Services will be offered in a hybrid model; appointments for student counselling, access & disability services, student health, careers and chaplaincy will all be available both online and in person.

GMIT anticipates a pragmatic phased increase in on-site activities as the weeks go by. Capacity for rooms in all GMIT campuses will be based on the World Health Organisation (WHO) ventilation guidelines. Libraries, common rooms, canteens and cafes will be open and additional outdoor spaces and overflow areas will be set up in internal courtyards with marquees and pop-up canopies where needed. All Clubs & Societies activities will resume as normal in accordance with Government guidelines for sports and leisure activities.

It is anticipated that public events such as Open Days, Careers & Recruitment Fairs, student exhibitions, conference, seminars and guest lectures will return on-site in line with Government guidelines as the year progresses.

GMIT is taking a flexible approach to onsite office arrangements. Management will engage with staff representative bodies in the coming weeks in relation to staff accommodation and services on-site.

Safety is a priority. Existing measures already in place will continue, including:

Enhanced ventilation (in compliance with WHO guidelines)

Mandatory masking (single covering) indoors

Access to extra outdoor spaces on campus

Adherence to new layout and rules of movement within campuses (until 22 Oct)

Sanitization of work and study spaces and an overall increased frequency of cleaning

Dr Orla Flynn, President of GMIT, says: “In GMIT we are planning a phased approach to our return to campus, initially prioritising small-group activities, including labs, workshops, practical classes and tutorials.

We want to renew connection with our returning students and take the opportunity to get to know our new incoming first years and, in some cases, second years who missed out on on-campus activities last year.

While the roll-out of the Government’s vaccination programme has been better than many people expected, we want to encourage all our students to avail of the opportunity to get vaccinated, if not completed already. We are looking forward to welcoming our students onsite and we’re aiming for a healthy and safe commencement of the new academic year.”

Dr Seamus Lennon, GMIT Covid Officer, says: “We continue to work hard to ensure a safe campus experience for all, and the range of measures have been put in place to this effect.  We are looking forward to a safe return to campus for our students and staff.”

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