DkIT Is Committed to Delivering High Quality Student Experience As Part of Its Academic Delivery in 2020/2115 June 2020
DkIT has announced a new start date for incoming first year students of September 28th, in line with all Institutes of Technology nationwide, and existing DkIT students will commence on the 30th September 2020.
Part-time and postgraduate taught programmes will commence around similar timeframes and individual plans are being put in place for Postgraduate Research Students. Staff within the institute (where feasible) will commence a phased return to campus over the summer months in line with the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business and in line with the Return to Work Safely Protocol.
The health and wellbeing of DkIT staff and students is of primary importance and the preparation for the delivery of the 2020/21 academic year will have that principle at the heart of all decision-making. It is envisioned that while the campus will be open and fully operational from September, the volume of people on campus at any given time will be substantially reduced to allow for social distancing and other public health directives.
In developing its plans for next year, DkIT has recognised the clear message from students in Ireland that they are committed to preserving the on-campus student experience and the institute is fully supportive of that. The quality of the student experience is of paramount importance and DkIT aims to protect that experience as much as possible while delivering academic programmes in a way that is safe, inclusive, supportive, and effective.
The Institute will introduce a blended model of learning which will incorporate online teaching including lectures coupled with practical and tutorials that will take place predominantly on campus. Provisions are being made to ensure that all services and supports (including counselling, disability, pastoral care, careers & employability etc.) remain accessible to students via a mixture of on-campus and remote delivery.
The institute is currently developing a newly adapted induction programme for all new students to support students during their transition to higher education. Plans are also underway to ensure that critical learning supports offered via the Library, Student Learning & Development Centre, Maths Learning Centre and the IT Learning Centre are available to students via online and face-to-face delivery come September.
Speaking today, President of DkIT Michael Mulvey, PhD paid tribute to staff for their commitment and endeavours to on behalf of the institute in these challenging times. He also praised students for their adaptability and openness to engage with new ways of learning during the Covid-19 restrictions.
“We look forward to welcoming students back on to our campus in September, albeit the numbers on campus at any one time will undoubtedly be smaller,” he said.
“Staff across the college are working hard to ensure that timetables are developed to reflect new health & safety protocols and as with previous years, these will be made available via our website www.dkit.ie.
“The health, safety and well-being of staff and students is of the highest priority in all plans to reopen our campus. This is an evolving situation but I can assure you that all decisions being made over the coming weeks will be done with adherence to CMO, NPHET, HSE, Department of Education and Skills and HSA guidelines and as set out in the Return to Work Safely Protocol.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of strong regional infrastructure and the need to be able to rely on critical services within your local community. Learners do not need to commute long distances or travel to densely populated cities to access high quality higher education with DkIT on their doorstep. Our highly skilled graduates from level 7 to level 10, provide a powerful injection of new talent and ideas for industry in our region which we know will be vital to support the economic recovery.”
“I want to reassure students and their parents/guardians at this time that DkIT is firmly committed to taking care of our students next year. We are investing time and resource into rigorous planning now because we want you to come onto our campuses in September, where we will ensure their safety and provide them with a stimulating college experience.”
“Because our model blends the theoretical with the practical, our students will be on campus for much of their learning. It may be happening in a different way, but it will be happening. The entire institute has been working with colleagues across the sector to ensure that our students will be safe and will experience college life.”
DkIT’s new 2020/21 roadmap is currently under development and will be published in the coming weeks. It is set out in in accordance with the Return to Work Protocol and reflects many of the principles and guidelines for academic delivery in 2020/21 that have been published today by the Technological & Higher Education Association (THEA). These guidelines state that:
- All Institutes of Technology are fully committed to delivering a fulfilling and enriching student experience while protecting the academic integrity of our programmes and awards and abiding by all public health guidelines.
- All Institutes of Technology will facilitate an on-campus experience for students, particularly incoming first years, and are in the process of communicating directly with students in order to fully outline how their 2020/21 learning will take place.
- All Institutes of Technology are working towards a commencement date in September for the 2020/2021 academic year.
Speaking today, Dr Joseph Ryan, Chief Exectuive of THEA said,
“Our Institutes of Technology are particularly well placed to support students through the COVID-19 learning process, while maintaining a positive student experience. Our institutions are geographically well distributed throughout Ireland, specialise in small student group teaching, and are accustomed to more interactive learning. The innovation and dedication of our staff has been central to the successful completion of the 2019/20 academic year. This agility allows us to deliver this key message to students, both current and prospective: we will welcome you on to our campuses in September 2020. We encourage all Leaving Certificate students and those going through the CAO this year to accept their offer for higher education institutions in the knowledge that their student experience will still be exciting, dynamic, and stimulating as their institution contributes to the drive towards economic recovery. You will be fully supported as we all continue to demonstrate the resilience that is characteristic of our people.”
“The commitment of the sector is to be solutions-focused. The scale of the task ahead is clear. Our determination is to work collaboratively with the Department of Education and Science, with the Higher Education Authority, and with the partner unions and other key stakeholders, and most centrally with our students at national and local levels, to put in place the necessary amended programme schedules and the infrastructure required for a smooth commencement in September, when we will welcome students to campuses across the country.”
The full statement, released by THEA today can be seen here alongside the accompanying document: Principles and Guidelines for the delivery of 2020/21 Programmes in the Institutes of Technology in the context of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
DkIT will announce details of its roadmap for reopening the campus over coming weeks and specific guidance will be provided to new and existing students in advance of the commencement of the academic term. All up-to-date information on DkIT’s plans to reopen its campus and details for the new academic year will continue to be available at www.dkit.ie