COVID-19: Latest Updates for International Education | UL International Education Division
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COVID-19: Latest Updates for International Education

Latest Updates

The Third Level Graduate Scheme enables non-EEA third level graduates to remain in Ireland for period of time after they have graduated from their respective course. During this period of time they can seek employment and work in Ireland without an employment permit.  Entry to the scheme is facilitated by application and the start of the scheme is based on the official receipt of exam results. For a full explanation of the scheme and requirements, please visit the INIS website .

The Departments of Justice and Equality and Education and Skills have recently held discussions on the operation of the Third Level Graduate Permission Scheme (TLGPS) and have agreed the following:
 
1.       On a once-off basis, students who were residing in Ireland and attending Irish Institutions, but who returned home due to COVID-19 and completed their studies and exams online abroad, but who will receive their award from the Irish Institution will be entitled to avail of the programme and also allowed apply from overseas. It is worth noting that this particular measure has already been put in place and was published on the ISD website on 17th April.
 
2.       On a once-off basis those students who are due to start their studies in an Irish Institution in September, but because of COVID-19 will have to complete the first semester online and who will complete their studies in Ireland will also be allowed avail of the programme.
 
The above 2 points are strictly one off arrangements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and subject to the usual criteria of the programme.   
 
3. Those students who intend to study for the full year online with an Irish Institution will not be allowed avail of the programme.

This notice applies to Immigration and International Protection permissions to reside in the State that are due to expire between 20/05/2020 and 20/07/2020 and supplements the notice of 20 March 2020 which renewed permissions due to expire between 20/3/2020 and 20/5/2020.

In light of the uncertainties caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, the following Notice applies to all persons with a current valid permission due to expire from 20/5/2020 to 20/7/2020, whether pursuant to domestic law or powers of the Minister, or Directive 2004/38/EC (Free Movement Directive).

All such permissions that are due to expire from 20/5/2020 to 20/7/2020 are automatically renewed by the Minister for a period of 2 months. The renewal of permission is on the same basis as the existing permission and the same conditions attach. In relation to persons with existing permission under Directive 2004/38/EC (Free Movement Directive), the automatic renewal is subject to the requirement that the person is complying with the requirements of the Directive.

Any permission which was renewed by the notice of 20 March 2020 and which therefore has a new expiry date between 20/05/2020 and 20/07/2020 is automatically renewed by this notice for a further 2 months.

The Dublin area Registration Office located in Burgh Quay remains temporarily closed.

Please also note that all Registration Offices for non-Dublin residents operated by An Garda Síochána have also temporarily closed

If you have any questions, please consult the INIS Frequently Asked Question document.

 

I am delighted to have joined the University of Limerick as Associate Vice-President (Global Engagement) and Professor of International Higher Education. This is a strange time for all of us involved in internationalisation. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is creating great uncertainty for our existing international and exchange students and partner institutions, as well as young people across the world who are considering their study options for 2020/21 and beyond.

 

Here at UL, we are working hard to build a plan for the new academic year, which combines a high-quality learning experience with the necessary measures to ensure students’ welfare. This crisis has highlighted the vital importance of international cooperation, as universities and research institutes around the world collaborate to develop vaccines and treatment therapies for Covid-19. In a globally-interconnected world, UL will continue to be at forefront of promoting international student mobility and exchange for the common good.

 

Professor Nigel Healey

Associate Vice-President (Global Engagement)

The following email relating to I-Grade Applications was communicated to all students by Prof Kerstin May, Vice President Academic Affairs & Student Engagement, on Friday 1 May 2020.

 

Dear Student,

In preparation for the opening of our I-Grade system this Friday, we would like to bring to your attention the changes to how we will support students who have encountered issues related to COVID-19 that have impacted on your ability to complete your assessments.  

 

This communication supersedes any other communication in relation to the I-Grade process during COVID-19.

 

An I-Grade is of benefit when you are not able to complete all the assessments for a module during the normal semester timelines.  An I-Grade provides you with the opportunity to undertake the assessment(s) again over the summer with no academic penalty.  The requirements to clear an I-Grade are set at module level and as such will be available from your module coordinator.

 

The I-Grade process is designed to support students who find themselves in an immediate crisis and, where relevant, takes actions to avert recurrence.  Our normal Academic Regulations require that a student has either engaged with, and has the support from, our professional services (Counselling, Medical, or Chaplaincy) or has submitted adequate third-party evidence to those professional services for consideration.

However, to support those of you who find yourselves in an immediate crisis due to COVID-19 and, where relevant, have taken reasonable action, the institution has created an I-Grade which covers all non-health, non-counselling, and non-chaplaincy issues related specifically to COVID-19.  

 

Applications for all I-Grades

All applications must be submitted through the online I-Grade portal here -https://ulsites.ul.ie/studentaffairs/i-grade-applications. The I-Grade portal will open on Friday 1st May at 1200 and close promptly on Wednesday May 20th at 1700, which is five days after the final deadline for assessment submissions.

All applicants must complete all sections of the application process regardless of which category of I-Grade you are selecting.  The four categories available are – Student Health Centre, Counselling Department, Chaplaincy Department, or COVID-19 Exceptional Application.  

When submitting an application for consideration under any of the categories you will be required to provide some basic information – this includes your current year of study, the current semester, and more importantly the modules your application will cover.  The portal will allow you to add more than one module using the ‘Insert Module’ option. 

The University I-Grade Committee will meet to review all I-Grade applications after the end of semester.  You will be able to view whether your I-Grade application was approved when your semester two results are published.

 

The New COVID-19 Exceptional I-Grade

To support those of you who may find yourselves in an immediate crisis due to COVID-19 and, where relevant, have taken reasonable action, the institution has created an I-Grade which covers all non-health, non-counselling, and non-chaplaincy issues related specifically to COVID-19.  This category may cover, for example, students with a change in any home care arrangement, an inability to engage in remote assessment due to a change in personal circumstances, inability to access LENS related learning supports remotely, or students who lack access to a digital infrastructure with no alternative assessment mode (it should be noted that this list is indicative only).  For the avoidance of doubt this category does not include any health-related issues pertaining to COVID-19, in this instance please use the Student Health Centre I-Grade Application.

Before making your application, you will also be asked to certify that your application has been made in good faith and is a truthful and accurate representation of the facts at this time.

When making an application under the COVID-19 category you will be requested to enter the reason why you are submitting this application for consideration, this must include the full details of the COVID-19 related issue and reference any third-party certification that supports the application. There is no need to submit copies of any third-party certification to the University at this stage but you should retain copies for future use if required. Where no third-party certification is available it is vitally important to state that you are self-certifying

 

Changes to the Student Health Centre I-Grade Application

Due to an unprecedented call on our front-line healthcare workers, the University is keen to minimise the impact of our internal processes on the countries health system and services. As such, where you are submitting an application for a Student Health Centre I-Grade for consideration and you do not already have third-party certification that supports the application, there is no requirement to seek such certification. The application must include the full details of the medical related issue and, where available, reference any third-party certification that supports the application. There is no need to submit copies of any third-party certification to the University at this stage but you should retain copies for future use if required. Where no third-party certification is available, it is vitally important to state that you are self-certifying.

For the avoidance of doubt this category includes health related issues pertaining to COVID-19, for all non-health related COVID-19 issues please use the COVID-19 Exceptional Application.

 

The Chaplaincy and Counselling I-Grade

There have been no changes to either the Counselling Department or Chaplaincy Department I-Grades.  Both services continue to operate remotely and both services will require that a student has either engaged with, and has the support from, the relevant professional services; this may include the requirement to submit adequate third-party evidence for consideration.  It should be noted that if you make a submission without having engaged directly with the Counselling Department or Chaplaincy Department your application will be rejected. 

 

Summary

The University will support our students who find themselves in crisis during these difficult times. It is important that you engage with the process as outlined above in a timely manner and be sure to read the application process outlined on the application portal when considering an application. The regulations pertaining to the I-Grade process are covered within section 4.2.3 of our Handbook of Academic Regulations and Procedures which is available here - https://ulsites.ul.ie/executive/academic-council-policies-procedures

Dear student,

 

I hope that you are well in these unsettled times. As you know the last number of weeks have been spent discussing the viability of our mobility programmes given the current pandemic. In the interest of your health and safety, and to minimise risk, we have made the difficult decision to suspend the autumn semester’s academic mobility for all students in the University of Limerick. This decision was not taken lightly and all of the various facets and considerations were discussed in depth and at length. The University of Limerick academics, support teams, international division and senior management are exceptionally disappointed for you and recognise the weight of this decision as the mobility of students and the global citizens it creates is core to our university ethos and to your student journey. 

 

It is important to note that this will not negatively impact your degree award. Your Course Director will be in contact, via your UL student email, to update you on the alternative academic semester in the University of Limerick.  We are also investigating short mobility options for 2021 which will be optional and attract Erasmus funding.  We ask that you monitor communications from the President and the COTEC team as to when the semester will begin and in what format, the initial proposal from this morning is included below for your reference. We would encourage you not to make any financial commitments until that information is communicated to you from those sources.

 

We do wholeheartedly wish to minimise the impact of this decision on all involved.  On your behalf we will communicate the decision to cancel mobility with your host university and you do not need to continue with any paper work. We will be in contact again in due course regarding the UL mobility programme.                

 

An FAQ document has been created for you to review should you have more queries. This will be live within the COTEC information on the UL website later today and you should reference it for further updates throughout the coming months.

 

We wish you every success during the assessment period and please ensure that you focus on that in the coming weeks.

 

Our main priority for you is to stay safe and stay well.  

 

Best wishes,

Madeline

 

Manager, Erasmus and Non EU Exchanges

International Division

University of Limerick 

Ireland

Emergency Number - 00353860488326

 

The University of Limerick campus is fully operational through online and virtual means during standard working hours  

The UL Covid19 Information Page has full details on the University of Limerick’s response to COVID-19

Dear colleagues and students,

 

We have been working to bring our community back together for the academic year 20/21 amid great uncertainty as to the government restrictions that will remain at the end of this summer. The health of staff, students and the wider community is paramount in our considerations and for that reason our plans may have to be revised depending on government advice.

 

Start Dates

The Autumn Semester will begin on September 28th for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year undergraduate students and all current and new postgraduate students, (some programmes, such as education and health will have different programme dates).

 

Our plans for first year students depend on the scheduling of the Leaving Certificate but if as planned it takes place from the end of July we anticipate welcoming our incoming first year students at the beginning of November. However, the date for entry of first years depends on many factors, including when the Leaving Certificate takes place as well as the completion of CAO offers and acceptance of places.  

 

At this stage it is hoped that Semester 2 will begin as planned on 25th January 2021for all students.

 

Blended Delivery

There is little doubt but that some restrictions on the size of groups which will be permitted to gather will remain in place in Ireland in September, which will affect our ability to deliver lectures on campus. Therefore it is likely that there will be a requirement for lectures to be delivered online. However, we anticipate a blended delivery of programmes to allow students to spend some time on campus in theautumn to facilitate face to face laboratory classes, studio time, and some seminars/tutorials. This will be limited in order to insure the health and safety of our community and to work within the government restrictions. Any planned approach will need to take account of the possibility that future full or partial closures may well be called for at short notice.

 

Erasmus and Non EU Exchange Mobility Programmes   

As a result of the current travel restrictions and with no indication of when these will lift, we have also had to examine the viability of the Erasmus and Non EU Exchange mobility programmes in the Autumn Semester. After much consideration and with regret, we have decided at this stage - so as to allow for alternative planning for our students - that the Erasmus and Non EU Exchange mobility programmes will be suspended for the Autumn Semester and alternative programmes will be put in place for those UL students who had been scheduled to study abroad for their autumn semester. We realise that this is very disappointing for students, but at present it is the only safe option.

 

Ongoing Planning 

Many of you understandably will be seeking more details on the Autumn Semester and in some cases we simply won’t have all the answers at this stage. Significant planning activity work is underway to enable an enhanced online experience and to support our staff with online delivery in what is going to remain a challenging environment for all of us. We are also developing protocols to safely restart some of our research programmes on campus.

 

We will continue to work with our partner universities here in Ireland and to draw upon best practice and innovative approaches internationally to provide our students with the best university experience and learning environment while we live with this virus.

 

As time goes on, more detail will follow from Deans, Heads of Schools/Departments and Course Directors and we will be in touch again with more decisions as they are made by COTEC and the UL Future Planning Group.

 

Stay home and stay well. 

 

UL Critical Operations Team and Executive Committee

Arriving to Ireland from another country

You will need to self-isolate for 14 days if you arrive in Ireland from any other country. This includes Irish citizens coming home.

Self-isolation means staying indoors and completely avoiding contact with other people.

You will be asked to fill in a form before you arrive in Ireland called the Public Health Passenger Locator Form.

Download the Public Health Passenger Locator Form (PDF, 704 KB, 4 pages)

You may be contacted during the 14 days after you arrive in Ireland to check that you are self-isolating.

Since 27 March 2020, emergency measures have been in place to protect tenants during the coronavirus emergency period. These measures are in place for 3 months. During the 3 month period from 27 March:

  • You cannot be served with a notice of termination
  • If you had been served with a notice of termination before 27 March, the notice period is paused for 3 months
  • Your landlord cannot increase your rent, even if notice of the rent increase was served before 27 March

More information can be found at CitizensInformation.ie

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a new social welfare payment of €350 a week for employees and self-employed people who have lost all their employment due to the COVID-19 public health emergency

You can apply for the payment if you are aged between 18 and 66 and have lost all your employment due to the coronavirus restrictions. Students, non-EEA nationals and part-time workers can apply for the payment. 

More information can be found at CitizensInformation.ie 

 

You should apply online at MyWelfare.ie. This is the quickest way to apply.

 

The Irish Council for Overseas Students continues to provide up-to-date information for International Students are in Ireland during  the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Go to the ICOS Website