One week to go…

It’s Monday 13th September 2021 which means that teaching begins a week today. Gulp.

We still don’t really have any idea how many students we’ll have on our courses in the first year. The 2021 Leaving Certificate Results only came out on Friday 3rd September and the first round of CAO offers went out last week (on Tuesday 7th). Today at 3pm is the deadline for accepting these offers, so we expect to have some reasonably firm information later this week. There are two more rounds of CAO offers, though, so there may be some late arrivals.

This week we’re having some orientation and induction sessions for the new students. I recorded several videos to help students make their choices and am doing two live webinars about Mathematical and Theoretical Physics. I’m not doing one for our denominated Theoretical Physics & Mathematics programme because students on that do not have options in the first year. There’s also a live online Q&A session.

Lectures for first-year students don’t start until 27th September (two weeks from today) but there will probably be quite a few students who accept their places this week and would be able to start with the rest of the students next Monday. I think we’ll devise some optional sessions for them to keep them amused until teaching starts in proper.

Meanwhile the returning students (second, third and fourth years) have been enrolling. That seems to have gone alright and we now have a good idea how many we’ll have in those classes.

Unfortunately we still have the problem I’ve already, mentioned that for visa reasons we’re short of a member of staff, who is likely to have to start giving his lectures remotely. He has been allocated one second year and one third year module. I’ll wait a day or two to see if his visa comes through and if not inform the students that these lectures will be online. I suspect the students won’t be happy but it’s out of my hands. The visa application has been waiting for months for an answer from the Immigration Service in Ireland, which is a very poor level of performance by them.

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