Dublin City University has welcomed the announcement of a €168 million support package for higher education institutions and students made by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD and Minister of State, Niall Collins, TD earlier today.
The multi-million package provides a much-sought after boost for higher education institutions who continue to work hard to mitigate the significant impact of Covid-19.
Additional financial resources will now be allocated to reopening campuses, commencing research projects and delivering a further suite of support to students, including mental well-being programmes and investment in additional IT resources.
The university particularly welcomes the allocation of resources to provide students with digital devices and deal with connectivity issues.
Student surveys conducted by DCU earlier this year, in advance of summer exams, found that internet access was a common issue for over one fifth of students while a survey of prospective first year students noted that 40% were worried about adapting to online learning.
Speaking about the announcement, the new President of DCU Professor Daire Keogh said,
“Covid-19 has proved an enormous challenge for all higher education institutions.
DCU has risen to this challenge and confirmation of the support package announced today will provide a much needed boost to the university, and go towards supporting work already underway to prepare for reopening our campuses and welcoming back our students in October.
We are putting in place a comprehensive hybrid model of teaching and learning for the new academic term and it is our intention to deliver the highest quality student experience.
We are acutely aware of the new environment for our students, and to this end we are strongly committed to ensuring that they have all of the supports necessary, particularly in the context of their mental well-being and in providing additional digital learning and IT resources.
Also, as a research intensive university, I am pleased to note that a portion of the funding will also be allocated to restarting research projects, which had to be temporarily halted when Covid-19 hit.
Maintaining the quality, standard and integrity of our research is of the utmost importance to DCU.”