Confusion among Waterford students over WITs plans to remain mostly closed for upcoming academic year
A large number of Waterford’s third-level students will spend most of their time studying at home in the coming year after Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) announced the vast majority of its programmes will take place online.
The college yesterday sent an email to all students informing them of the direction their model for academic delivery for 2020/21 educational year.
All programmes will be delivered online except for labs and workshops that require the use of specialist equipment and would not be deliverable via an online system.
The decision was reached, the email said: “Which places the welfare of our students, staff and communities at the forefront of our thinking.
“All lectures, tutorial and practical classes will be delivered remotely (off-campus) for the academic year 2020/21. Remote delivery will include live-streaming of lectures and other forms of remote learning platforms appropriate to individual modules or programmes.
“Learning activity such as laboratories and workshops or those that require special equipment will occur on-campus but be subject to appropriate social distancing and PPE based on the physical layout of the learning spaces,” WIT said.
The email explained that a return to campus could happen if there are changes to the recommendations in regards Covid-19 delivered from Government
“Where prevailing public policy and the prevalence of Covid-19 change,” the email said, “a return to on-campus delivery of lectures, tutorial and practical classes may be facilitated on a phased basis.
“We appreciate the difficulty that students and your families have in planning for college during a changing situation dictated by public health considerations. We advise that you be as flexible as possible in your planning particularly regarding accommodation, travel and general study arrangements for 2020/21,” the WIT email said.
In regards on-campus accommodation, the college said students will have the opportunity to get their money back.
“Our campus accommodation would like to assure students who have booked WIT accommodation and have a change of mind before signing a contract that their deposits will be refunded on request,” WIT concluded.
However, a former President of WIT Students’ Union and local Labour Representative Michael Murphy said the announcement has left students concerned and confused, saying more clarity is required.
“Many questions still remain unanswered and the answers vary depending on each course, students still feel as if they are in the dark.’
“How often will students with labs be on campus? Will all of their labs be put on the one day? In such a case should the student keep their accommodation?” Mr Murphy concluded.