Trinity College Dublin is freezing recruitment as the financial fallout from the Covid-19 crisis hits.
While there will be some exceptions, hiring will be allowed only on a "case by case basis” and where a "strong business case can be made.”
Trinity's HR Director Antoinette Quinn sent an email to heads of departments yesterday advising of the decision taken by senior management earlier this week.
The email refers to Covid-19i public health emergency stating “ it has become clear that there will be a significant financial consequences for Trinity in the coming years.”
It adds that “at this stage we cannot know how long the crisis will continue or what the full financial impact will be,but that they were “working to focus limited resource where they are needed.”
It states that recruitment, including research nominations, will only be allowed where a strong business case can be made.
A committee will assess each case for recruitment and will make final decisions. A number of senior academic appointments already in the pipeline will go ahead.
The clampdown comes only weeks after Trinity announced an ambitious strategic plan for the next five years, including the recruitment of more academics out of its own resources to improve the staff: student ratio.
The seven traditional universities are bracing themselves for combined losses of hundreds of millions of euro in the year head as a result of the Covid-19 emergency.
A major fall off in international students – who are worth €300m a year to the seven traditional universities, is anticipated, and they fear up to 80pc of that business will be lost in 2020/21.
The seven universities will also take a hit in other areas, such as not being able to rent out student accommodation to tourists over the summer. Already Trinity and other universities have apaid refunds to students in on-campus accommodation who returned him because of the health emergency.
Funding for research is among the other revenue streams facing uncertainty.