Two weeks to go…

Science Building Foyer

I’ve decided to escape from the boxes and packing materials in my house in order to come onto campus. The Science Building is still rather empty but, despite the deserted appearance of the foyer above, there are a few other people working here. In fact, later this afternoon I’ll be having the first in-person meeting I’ve had with my PhD student for about a year; we’ve met regularly once a week via Teams so this will be a change!

It’s 6th September 2021 which means that teaching begins two weeks today. On top of the problem I’ve already mentioned that we’re short of a member of staff, we still don’t really have any idea how many students we’ll have on our courses. The 2021 Leaving Certificate Results only came out on Friday 3rd September and the first round of CAO offers will be published tomorrow (7th September) so please spare a thought for the admissions teams who have been working through the weekend to sort things out. We’ll get our first information tomorrow afternoon how things have gone, but we won’t have firm numbers until very close to the start of term, which is why teaching for new students won’t begin until 27th September, a week later than returning students.

Today is also Consultation Day, on which students can discuss their results in the August Repeat Examinations with members of staff (including myself).  Students who had disappointing results may need to repeat the year; others may progress to the next year of studies, having passed their repeats. Others who passed some but not others may be able to progress but with a restricted range of options. It’s all quite complicated but the few inquiries I’ve dealt with today have been resolved quite straightforwardly.

There’s a lot to do over the next fortnight, but it’s quite a relief to be in a situation where we can actually start doing out jobs rather than  just wait for others to do theirs. As Gandalf said on the eve of the Battle for Minas Tirith:

The board is set, the pieces are moving. We come to it at last…


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