Another Late Start to the Academic Year

Following on from Monday’s post about uncertainty relating to the start of next academic year, it has now been announced that this summer’s Leaving Certificate results will not be released to students until Friday 2nd September and CAO offers will be made on 8th September.

The timeline for admissions at Ireland’s third level institutions will therefore be roughly the same as last year. Although nothing has been officially announced from Maynooth yet, it seems likely that lectures for first-year students will have to commence a week later than returners just as happened last year.

This is not ideal but at least we have some basis on which to start planning. The start of the current academic year was a bit chaotic to say the least but if this year is a repeat of last at least we have some experience on what worked and what didn’t to guide us. And at least I have something reasonably concrete to say at tomorrow’s Open Day.

From the point of teaching, therefore, things are probably going to be a bit less bad than last year, at least in Maynooth. Some universities were due to start teaching on 5th September so they face a delay of 2-3 weeks.

That doesn’t mean however that things will be better for the students. They will have to wait until September until they know which course they will be on, which will cause considerable stress. On a more practical level it means that that new students will have very little time to find accommodation which is in any case in very short supply.

Now that we know the dates we will make the best plans we can for teaching, but for accommodation there doesn’t seem to be any plan at all. A crisis is looming.

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