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Last updated: Monday, March 30, 2020 - 14:06

Coronavirus Information

Information for DCU Students

Academic Advice

Updated March 19th, 2020

Following the suspension of  all on-campus lectures, tutorials and teaching laboratory classes effective from March 12th, please see below an update on some specific arrangements.

All teaching and assessments/examinations will be conducted online for the remainder of this academic year. All DCU students should now work on that basis. 

All arrangements regarding assessments will be communicated to all students in the week beginning April 7th and will be posted on the relevant module page on Loop.

General Teaching Update

1. Students on Taught Programmes

Final year Undergraduate students, and Postgraduate Taught students: Priority is being given to arrangements for these examinations and assessments. There will be remote assessments, which will extend into and across the examination period of May 5-18th, and work on specific arrangements continues.

The online assessments will hold the same validity and reflect the same high standards and learning outcomes as award-related assessments ordinarily conducted on campus for all our degree programmes.

August resits for May exams are cancelled including for those who have failed or deferred a January 2020 exam.  If required, resits will take the form of an alternative assignment and will take place online. We also plan to ensure projects can be completed. 

2. DCU students studying abroad

If you have decided to remain abroad, please keep yourself updated on developments and make decisions based on the information available locally or through the listed, trusted websites.  Erasmus and ICM+ students have received correspondence regarding payment of grants and the commitment to ensuring academic progression, which DCU will honour. 

3. Students currently on external placements as part of their programme

If your access to work/school or healthcare setting is limited or interrupted as a result of local arrangements, be assured that the university is putting arrangements in place to deal with this matter. There is ongoing engagement with the relevant regulatory bodies, host employers etc. 

Please refer to the directives of the relevant DCU coordinator which will be available via Loop.

  • School placements

Follow the guidelines applicable in your setting and refer to the directives of the Institute of Education placement coordinators via Loop.

The Teaching Council has issued an important statement clarifying that there will be no registration implications for students unable to complete school placement. You can read this statement here 

  • BEd 4 students: Your placement is due to begin again on April 20th, subject to schools being open, and will finish as scheduled on May 1st. Please see the email sent to you from your placement co-ordinator for further details. 
  • B Rel Ed 4 students: Please see the email sent to you from your placement co-ordinator for further details.
  • PME 2 students: Your placement is due to begin again on April 20th, subject to schools being open, and will finish as scheduled on May 1st. Please see the email sent to you from your placement coordinator for further details.
  • PME Post-Primary students: Your placement co-ordinator will update you shortly by email

  • INTRA

In the first instance please follow the guidelines of your employer.  If this is not possible for any reason please liaise with your INTRA coordinator.  Be assured that we will find a solution if you are unable to complete your placement.  We will communicate with you as soon as such alternatives have been developed.

Access to Lab-based Research Facilities suspended

We have now closed off access to all academic research laboratories and associated specialist facilities on health and safety grounds as there are insufficient staff/students on campus to ensure the safety of researchers in the higher risk facilities. We are asking all our researchers to work from home as best they can. We ask that research students please contact their supervisor as they will be best placed to advise on how to continue with research while these closures are in place.

We also wish to remind you :

  • All students should rely on Loop for information regarding specific modules. 
  • During closure, the library will operate electronically; further details are available on the DCU Libraries webpage here 
  • Continuous assessments are being redesigned, if necessary, so that they can be set and completed remotely. 
  • All first and second year undergraduate examinations planned for May will be replaced with alternative assessments. Information on the timing of these and other specific details will be circulated locally via Loop 
  • 3rd year students not in their final year - planned examinations will be replaced with alternative assessments. Information on the timing of these and other specific details will be circulated locally via Loop
  • DCU Connected students, all examinations planned for May will be replaced with alternative assessments. Information on the timing of these and other specific details will be circulated by your tutor via Loop

Inevitably, circumstances of this kind will give rise to many specific queries. Please continue to bear with us while details are finalised and made available via the DCU website and on Loop for module level information.

Social Distancing

It is crucial at this time that we all observe the social distancing guidelines, in everything that we do, if we are to reduce the risk of the spread of the coronavirus. Please see the joint statement issued today by the Presidents of the Universities and Institutes of Technology (https://www.dcu.ie/news/news/2020/Mar/Message-Students-Presidents-of-Irish-Universities-and-Institutes-of-Technology)

Safe Zone App - Check-in

If you are on campus - it would be really helpful for DCU Security if you would 'Check-in' using the DCU Safe Zone App.  Full details are available at: https://www.dcu.ie/ocoo/safezoneatdcu.shtml  All researchers working in any laboratory type environment must 'Check-in' using the Safe Zone App.

 Other updates for students include the following: 

  • Both the U Building (Student Centre) on the Glasnevin Campus and the Java Café on the St. Patrick’s campus are closed
  • The DCU Sports Complex and Soccer Centre are closed
  • The Londis shop on the Glasnevin campus is closed since March 28th 
  • The Student Health Centres on both the Glasnevin and St Patrick’s campuses will remain open, by appointment only, as will the Pharmacy on the Glasnevin campus
  • All CTYI and DCU Language Services classes are suspended

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Are you are a student over 18 who has lost employment due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic? Or are you are a non-EU/EEA student over 18 who has lost employment due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic?

If so, you may be entitled to the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployement Payment. Check out the information from the Department of Social Protection here

What if I don’t have Broadband at home?

In light of the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus), steps have been put in place to ensure DCU students can continue to attend lectures remotely in the event of a situation where there may be limited or restricted campus access.

All students will be able to access all course content, attend lectures etc. vis loop.dcu.ie on the provision that you have access to broadband.

An alternative if you do not have landline broadband, is to opt for a mobile broadband plan.

The technology used to provide mobile broadband is the same as the one that lets you use your mobile phone, so many mobile networks offer mobile broadband via mobile dongles and 4G SIMs.

Mobile broadband can be really useful, especially if you need to access the internet on the move, but you will need to be sure that the coverage is at least 4G to get a reliable internet connection to access online lectures. Contact your mobile phone provider to discuss this with them.

Points to consider:

Price: This will be one of the most important factors. If the plan has an initial discount, make sure you also consider the ongoing monthly cost when this discount ends, to ensure it’s still within your budget.

Contract length: Many SIM-only deals will just have 30-day contracts, so you won’t be locked in for a long time. However, no matter what plan you opt for, make sure you check the contract length before signing up, so you know when you’re free to switch again.

Coverage: If you have a mobile phone, good reception is crucial. 

Will I still earn my degree?

The University is currently working on alternative methods of class delivery and will endeavour to ensure that students can continue with their learning throughout this unusual time.

What advice and supports are in place for students in DCU? 

Student Support & Development are continuing to offer services and staff are still available via email and Google Hangouts.

 

I am overseas for the Semester or year abroad as part of an Erasmus or exchange programme in a country where cases of infection of the coronavirus have been confirmed – what should I do?

Erasmus and ICM+ students have already received correspondence regarding payment of grants and the commitment to ensuring academic progression, which DCU will honour. As stated last week, the university is putting arrangements in place to deal with progression issues which may arise.

If you have decided to remain abroad, please follow the following guidelines:

Our priority at this extraordinary time is student safety. We will continue to support you in whatever way we can, while at the same time supporting you to complete your year abroad and progressing into the final year of your studies.

If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Claire.bohan@dcu.ie

Can I still contact the Student Health Centre if I'm feeling unwell?

Following advice from the HSE, the Student Health Centres are no longer available for drop-in appointments. You must contact the Health Centre by phone (01-7005766 or 01-7005143 to book an appointment with the GP (Glasnevin campus) and 01- 8842245 or 01-8842239 (St. Patrick’s campus)) to be triaged before an appointment can be confirmed.  

 

Students on placement

If your access to work/school or healthcare setting is limited or interrupted as a result of local arrangements, be assured that the university is putting arrangements in place to deal with this matter. There is ongoing engagement with the relevant regulatory bodies, host employers etc. 

Please refer to the directives of the relevant DCU coordinator which will be available via Loop.

  • School placements

Follow the guidelines applicable in your setting and refer to the directives of the Institute of Education placement coordinators via Loop.

The Teaching Council has issued an important statement clarifying that there will be no registration implications for students unable to complete school placement. You can read this statement here 

  • BEd 4 students: Your placement is due to begin again on April 20th, subject to schools being open, and will finish as scheduled on May 1st. Please see the email sent to you from your placement co-ordinator for further details. 
  • B Rel Ed 4 students: Please see the email sent to you from your placement co-ordinator for further details.
  • PME 2 students: Your placement is due to begin again on April 20th, subject to schools being open, and will finish as scheduled on May 1st. Please see the email sent to you from your placement coordinator for further details.
  • PME Post-Primary students: Your placement co-ordinator will update you shortly by email

  • INTRA

In the first instance please follow the guidelines of your employer.  If this is not possible for any reason please liaise with your INTRA coordinator.  Be assured that we will find a solution if you are unable to complete your placement.  We will communicate with you as soon as such alternatives have been developed.

Advice for DCU students on INTRA placement abroad

Students abroad on INTRA should follow local advice and also register with the Department of Foreign Affairs to ensure they receive updates from the Irish Embassy or Consulate. Contact your INTRA Coordinator if you have any concern or if your placement is interrupted in any way due to the current situation.

 

Campus Accommodation updates

Updated Sunday, March 29th

Following the announcement of additional measures (covering the period up to April 12th) on Friday, March 27th, by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, DCU has made the decision that only essential staff will be required to be present on campus from Sunday March 29th. Full details are available on the dcu.ie/coronavirus.

In this new situation, students who have rooms in on-campus Student Accommodation may have queries regarding the new circumstances that apply.

These are addressed below:

Are students now being asked to leave campus residences? 

No.  Students who wish to continue staying on campus or extend their stay have been reassured that DCU will continue to provide the best support possible to the end of their tenancy agreements, albeit in more constrained circumstances arising from staffing reductions. However, to facilitate effective management of the residences, some residents may be asked to change rooms but will be given plenty of notice should this be necessary. 

Will access to campus residences be restricted after Sunday March 29th?

Given the new constraints on essential staffing, we will need to reduce the number of entry points to student residences. In this regard, there will be a single point of entry on the Glasnevin campus via the Sports Complex and on the All Hallows Campus via the pedestrian entrance. This is to ensure the safety of residents on campus.

What are the arrangements for students who wish to collect their belongings?

An email was sent to all residents on Campus Accommodation on Sunday, March 29th, from management. Please refer to this email regarding collection of belongings. 

All previous advice regarding terminating tenancy agreements and requesting refunds still apply. Students who are not in a position to collect their belongings but wish to have them stored and to apply for a refund should do so by completing this form.


How do I self-isolate in shared accommodation?

If the need arises for a student to self-isolate, you should contact the Student Health Centre at studentservices@dcu.ie and we will put all the necessary arrangements in place in consultation with the HSE.

Students General Travel Insurance Information

It is a requirement that DCU Students travelling or studying abroad have in place their own individual or family Personal Accident & Travel insurance policy. The University does not procure travel insurance for students.

Every insurance policy is subject to terms and conditions and the following are general guidelines and the actual policy should be reviewed to understand the cover afforded to the individual.

Travel Insurance Cover

Within this type of insurance, there is cover for costs incurred due to cancellation, delay, or curtailment of travel. In the main that cover applies in the following situations:

  • Traveller is affected by illness and cannot then travel
  • Travel arrangements are impacted on by the actions of third parties out of control of the traveller, such as when conferences are cancelled, flights are delayed, etc.
  • Advice from a government agency for ‘non-essential travel’ to a specified country or region within a country.

Government Travel Advisory (‘Avoid all non-essential travel’ or 'Do Not Travel')

It should be noted, that costs incurred before the advice was issued e.g. if you booked the flights/hotels etc would be expected to be covered by a standard insurance policy.

Any travel booked after the travel advisory was issued, you will not be covered by insurance. 

However, should a person be ‘in a country’ when a travel advisory for that region is issued, then it would be expected that the policy would cover the costs of repatriating the individual back to Ireland should there be advice from the Government to do so.

If I decide not to travel because of COVID19 concerns, am I covered?

The standard travel policy provides no cover for costs incurred when a person decides not to travel or seeks to repatriate themselves due to fears or concerns around Covid-19. In the absence of a government travel advisory warning against travel or the cancellation of flights, events, etc., any decision not to travel or to travel home early is classed by insurers as 'disinclination to travel' and is not an insurable risk. 

 'Keep Learning' has been added to provide students with important information on how to access the University's on-line resources - this is important for all students in the event that we have to suspend academic activities. Click here