DkIT welcomes students back to campus for the new academic year

24 September 2021

This week Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) reopened its doors and welcomed 1st and 2nd year student groups for induction, with all students being back on campus from Monday 27th of September.

This year’s induction days included 2nd year students whose college experience to date has been exclusively online.   They may have completed first year but have little knowledge of the campus, or their fellow classmates. 



The new students were delighted to be on campus, and the cohort included over 50 students from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Three of the Czech students, Lenka Vrancikova, Kate Kricenska and Magdalenna Vavrova were happy to be in Dundalk:

“We are very excited to be here and have been made very welcome in Dundalk. We have been here for 5 days so far and we love it so far!”

Speaking during their induction, brother and sister Carlos and Mary-Angela Kayode from Ardee, both studying BSc (Hons) in Science with Environmental Bioscience, added:

“It’s great to come and see the campus and was good to meet our classmates. We are looking forward to starting the new semester.”

On the 15th of June the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS), published A Safe Return To On-Site Further And Higher Education And Research (Safe Return Plan). The plan was inclusively formed and is endorsed by public health authorities. The safe reopening of all higher education institutes is underpinned by three primary pillars:

  1. Higher education has been nominated as an ‘essential service’ by government.
  2. There is an overwhelming desire from students for a return to on campus learning and research activity
  3. The majority, if not all adults, including college students have been offered the opportunity to be fully vaccinated.

DkIT President, Michael Mulvey, said: 

“The students are at the beating heart of any Institution, and we are delighted to welcome them back on campus. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff who have worked tirelessly to prepare DkIT for reopening.   We have put in place all the measures advised by public health to make the return to campus safe and sustainable for all our students, staff, and wider community.  We will continue to be vigilant and in constant communication with the public health specialists with the priority being the health, safety and wellbeing of all our Institute community.  I believe our strength in this new phase of the pandemic will be personal and well as institutional responsibility.  I wish all our students, but especially the students who have had no on-campus experience, a healthy, fulfilling, academic year at DkIT.”   

All the public health protocols will be followed on campus by staff and students. Everyone is expected to wear a mask at all times indoors.  Exceptions will be granted for students and staff with a medical condition, however they then must adhere to a minimum of a two metre distance between them and other students and staff.  Hand sanitisations stations are provided throughout the campus and students will be required to use anti-viral wipes to clean down their seat prior to, and after a class.   Free face masks will be distributed to all DkIT students.

Despite the disruption of COVID 19 on every aspect of education, DkIT has seen a 25% increase in its 2020/2021 intake to over 1000 part-time students on NFQ certified courses.  This is the biggest year-on-year percentage growth in part-time enrolments in the IOT/TU sector.  Furthermore DKIT has experienced a 62% growth in part-time student enrolments over the past four years. To facilitate this demand over 45 new part-time courses have been developed over the past 5 years.  Some of our high demand courses include certificates in Renewable Energy, Digital Media Design, Culinary Skills, Supply Chain Management and degree courses in Childcare, Business, Civil Engineering and Agriculture. Part-time admissions are now closed for this semester but will reopen at the end of October for courses starting in January 2022.

Anton Barrett, Head of Lifelong Learning at DkIT said about the increased part-time student intake this year,

“Adult learners and employers have all seen the value of upskilling and continuous learning.   We at DkIT are delighted to see an increase in our flexible and part-time student numbers.   All our part-time programmes are compiled in our academic schools and departments and are of exceptional academic quality.  A modern-day employee needs to be flexible and constantly upskilling and both our students and employers report the overwhelming results when a person embraces lifelong learning.’ 

 

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