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Students 'will be in class 40-60pc of time' and pay normal campus rent

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College life: UCD deputy president Mark Rogers

College life: UCD deputy president Mark Rogers

College life: UCD deputy president Mark Rogers

Undergraduate students in University College Dublin (UCD) will attend face-to-face classes for 40-60pc of the time when the college reopens.

Ireland's largest university has also announced that students who live on campus will pay normal rent, although, this year, it will be for 36 weeks, rather than 38, because of the later term start as a result of Covid-19.

UCD has provided more details of the college experience that students can expect in the autumn, in the context of public health constraints.

All third-level colleges are working on arrangements for lectures and other campus activities, and students everywhere are returning to a blend of face-to-face and distance teaching and learning. If the public health position changes, colleges will revise their plans accordingly.

In an update on its arrangements this week, the University of Limerick announced a staggered system, with different year groups on campus on different weeks.

Typically, students from two year groups will be in college at the same time, although the weekly mix will vary. First years will be on campus for four of the 12 weeks to Christmas (25pc of the time) and students from other years for three of the 12 weeks (33pc).

Meanwhile, UCD plans for students from all years to be on campus together, although not all students at the same time.

Larger lectures and classes won't be able to run at normal physical capacity and students will have a mix of online, blended and face-to-face classes and tutorials with variations depending on subjects and stages.

"We expect, complying with public-health guidelines, that most undergraduate students will be in classrooms around 40-60pc of the normal schedule, with most graduate students having between 75pc and 100pc of normal classroom time," UCD stated.

Each of the six colleges in UCD is devising a teaching and learning schedule that best suits the subjects being taught.

The hybrid approach will involve real-time streaming and recorded lectures and classes in many programmes for students who are not able to attend campus in the autumn. UCD said it also planned to maximise campus activities, including sports and societies, so that students could enjoy their college-life experience to its fullest potential, consistent with public health requirements.

The UCD gym and sports centre reopened earlier this month.

UCD deputy president and registrar Professor Mark Rogers said the university was encouraging students to plan to spend as much time as possible on campus so they could experience the benefits of personal interaction and engagement with their fellow students and academic staff.

Irish Independent