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COVID-19: Information for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students

Last updated 18 Jan 2021

Campus Activity under Level 5 Restrictions (Lockdown 3)

A Framework for Restrictive Measures has been developed to help us to go about our daily lives as much as possible, while managing the behaviour of the virus. The Framework consists of 5 levels.

Ireland is now operating under Level 5 of the Government’s plan for living with COVID-19. At Level 5, the public health risk means that you will be asked to stay at home, except for travel for work, education or other essential purposes, or to take exercise within 5km of home. There will be no gatherings other than small numbers at funerals and weddings.

Read more about Level 5 Restrictions.

Under these restrictions, third level education and research are designated essential activities where they are “…not capable of being delivered through alternative means and are time-critical for students and learners during this period.” (Minister Simon Harris).
 
In line with this guidance and the rapidly rising COVID-19 infection rates, the University will be continuing with our existing blended learning model, but with enhanced protective measures for staff and students until at least the end of January, pending a review of the public health restrictions by Government.

UL Sport

UL Sport Gym, 50m & 25m Pools and all indoor and outdoor facilities including pitches are closed with the exception of facilitating elite high performance training.

Library & Information Services

All study spaces will be closed except for students who are between scheduled on-campus classes or labs  and the library building will be closed for physical access from Monday 11th January.

Library & Information Service will continue to provide a range of services including:

  • Online library available 24/7
  • Online help, subject guides and skills classes
  • Click and Collect Service
  • Scanning and Digitising
  • Special Collections and Archives online only

Admissions

Students will most likely need to defer in that instance unless the school/University  can give a final grade based on past performance or project work. This is up for review on a case by case basis but most likely the student will need to complete High School/University before enrolling.

 

Irish universities and colleges accept several English language tests as proof of eligibility. If you are unable to take your English language test due to closures and find no alternative please contact  international@ul.ie to inform us of your situation. Irish universities and colleges are now accepting the Duolingo English Test (DET) for student admission purposes.  DET is offered online with test results in 48 hours. The Irish higher education institutions have confirmed with the Department of Justice and Equality about the recognition of DET for visa purposes.

International Foundation Programme

We are still accepting applications for the International Foundation Programme - a one year full-time programme designed to offer international students an alternative route to undergraduate study.  This programme is suitable for international students who do not hold qualifications equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate or who need a further boost to their English language skills.Visit the UL Language Centre Webpage for more information. 

The International Foundation Programme will start on Monday 25 January 2021 and will end on Friday 06 August 2021.  Students must attend the course from Monday 25 January 2021.

The English Language Preparation for University Programmes

The English Language Preparation for University Programmes cater specifically for the language needs of students who intend to study for an undergraduate, study abroad or postgraduate degree at the University of Limerick. They are aimed at students who have reached the academic entry requirements for their chosen course but need to improve their English in order to meet the English language entry requirements for their chosen pathway at UL.  They are very suitable for students who have received a conditional offer from the University of Limerick.

Dates for The English Language Preparation for University Programmes for 2021 have yet to be confirmed. Please contact language.centre@ul.ie for more information.

Accommodation

Campus Life Services have contingency plans in place to provide assistance and support to students living on campus.

All students will have a single room in a shared house. Students living on campus should continue to take personal responsibility for their own health and follow the advice on preventative measures which have been published and extensively circulated by the HSE and are available here.

If a student living on campus feels unwell, please call the UL Student Health Centreon 061 202434 during office hours (9am to 1pm or 2pm to 4.30pm)

If a student living on campus feels unwell outside of these hours please call  Emergency Services on 999/112 and contact the UL Emergency Number on 061 213333 to alert them that the Emergency Services have been contacted

The UL Student Health Centre will liaise with Campus Life Services and the Village Management Teams will provide the support and assistance required to any affected students living on campus. 

For more detailed information pertaining to accommodation, please contact accommodation@ul.ie.

If you are staying on campus accommodation, you can cook the shared kitchen facilities during your 14-day period of restricted movement. However, students should avoid sharing kitchen utensils, eat in their rooms and respect social distancing guidelines when in shared living areas. 

For more detailed information pertaining to accommodation, please contact accommodation@ul.ie.

.

We understand that this is a particularly exciting time for our students and of course you will be eager to meet your housemates. If meeting with your housemates in the common living area, please respect social distancing guidelines. 

For more detailed information pertaining to accommodation, please contact accommodation@ul.ie.​

We understand that having to arrive two weeks before the start of the semester imposes an additional cost on our international students. To help ease this burden, for students who reserve a place in one of our student villages, the cost of accommodation (excluding meals) for the two weeks of self-isolation will be free. For any accommodation-related queries, please contact accommodation@ul.ie

 

Yes, of course! You will still be able to access campus if you are staying in campus accommodation. 

COVID-19 Testing

You can get a free test for COVID-19 (coronavirus) if:

  • You have symptoms of COVID-19 and your GP thinks you need to be tested
  • You are told you are a close contact by a member of the HSE contact tracing team

Please see here for further information:

https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/testing/how-to-get-tested.html

If you do not have a GP in Limerick, please contact the Student Health Centre, Tel:  061 202 534, and a referral will be arranged for you.

Students who need a Covid-19 test for travel purposes are not offered free tests by the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE). The free public HSE testing service is only for people who fulfill specific criteria, one of which is not travel. 

Anyone needing a test for travel must get a private test. The closest private test centre is in Shannon Airport. Please see here for further information 

https://rocdochealthcheck.ie

If you test positive for COVID-19 you are asked to notify UL at COVID19Report@ul.ie as soon as possible with the date you were last on campus and when you were diagnosed. The information you provide will be received by the UL Health & Safety Unit and may be communicated to the relevant Head of Department, if required for HSE reporting purposes, and the Student Health Centre. Records will be deleted by UL after 30 days.

Spring Semester 2021

Semester 2 begins on 25th January 2021 for most students.

Certain faculties and schools may operate differently. Applicants and offer holders are encouraged to check their emails regularly for any important updates from the UL Global team or from the relevant school / faculty.

Under the present public health guidelines, international students will be required to undertake a period of 'restricted movement' for 14 days before the start of the semester. Restricting your movements means staying indoors and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible.

You can read more about arriving in Ireland from another country here

Please note, the Univesity of Limerick continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation. These dates are subject to change depending on the impact of COVID-19 and containment measures for students and staff. Please be sure to check the UL Academic Calendar for the latest updates on semester dates. 

In order to provide you with greater certainty and to allow you adequate time for planning, the decision has been taken to continue with an online academic delivery model for the remainder of the academic year 2020/21.  
 
This will mean that the majority of courses will remain online, minimising on-campus activity to essential on-campus learning activities, including all research activities, lab-based and practical tuition and certain small-scale tutorials that cannot happen online. The current academic delivery arrangements at UL are consistent with the Government’s Plan for Living with COVID.
 
Should the national public heath guidelines be relaxed later in the academic year, the restoration of additional face-to-face activities will be considered. However, students whose classes are currently wholly online and who have chosen to study remotely will be able to complete their modules online.

Your timetable will be made available two weeks prior to the start of the semester. It can be accessed at www.timetable.ul.ie.

ITD advise that there are two important technical components to maximise your student experience when participating in remote online learning:

 

  1. Device Access: Regular access to a device (e.g. laptop) will enable you to remotely access materials and curriculum content (e.g. access to Sulis, reading materials, lecture recordings, live classes and lectures).

 

UL are working with suppliers with the aim of publishing a list of suitable laptop devices and prices, for students who do not already own a device. Further information will be communicated once suitable devices and pricing have been agreed with the vendors. 

 

  1. Internet connection: Access to reliable WiFi or a home broadband connection is recommended, however, remote learning can also be facilitated via a reliable and consistent Mobile Broadband connection. 

 

For those students that do not currently have access to broadband, a range of wired, wireless and mobile broadband solutions are now on offer in the market covering the majority of geographic locations in Ireland and, generally, service details are available online. ITD will offer more advice and guidance for students regarding broadband at a later stage.

In-semester assessments will be the default approach for the Spring 2021 semester. This means that, in general, there will not be formal exams during exam week. 

Students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the guidelines for their individual faculties.

In line with Public Health guidelines, students must wear facemasks while indoors on campus where maintaining a 2m physical distancing is not possible.  This position will be kept under continual review and the requirement to wear face coverings may change. 

Face coverings in all library areas will be mandatory for all library users, for the duration of your stay in the library, with immediate effect.

You are required to wear a face covering for public retail outlets and other places where it is difficult to maintain social distancing.

Travel

By law, if you arrive in Ireland from any other country you will need to fill in a form called the Covid-19 Passenger Locator Form.

You'll also be asked to restrict your movements for 14 days.

Restricting your movements means staying at home and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible.

You may be contacted during the 14 days after you arrive in Ireland. This is to check that you are at the address you gave on the Covid-19 Passenger Locator Form.

Full details from the Health Service Executive about travelling into Ireland from another country can be found here.

If you contract COVID-19 before you are due to travel to Ireland for the start of your course you should not travel and you should follow all local health advice. You should wait for medical advice that you are no longer contagious before you consider travelling

You should contact international@ul.ie to keep us informed of your situation.

In line with Public Health guidelines, students must wear facemasks while indoors on campus where maintaining a 2m physical distancing is not possible.  This position will be kept under continual review and the requirement to wear face coverings may change. 

Face coverings in all library areas will be mandatory for all library users, for the duration of your stay in the library, with immediate effect.

You are required to wear a face covering for public retail outlets and other places where it is difficult to maintain social distancing.

During the 14 days after you arrive into Ireland, you should avoid going to any shops unless abolsutely neccessary - please wear a face covering if you do. 

Those completing their 14-day period of restricted movement  can avail of local grocery delivery services from supermarkets such as Tesco or SuperValu

 

Students who need a Covid-19 test for travel purposes are not offered free tests by the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE). The free public HSE testing service is only for people who fulfill specific criteria, one of which is not travel. 

Anyone needing a test for travel must get a private test. The closest private test centre is in Shannon Airport. Please see here for further information:

https://rocdochealthcheck.ie

Third Level Graduate Scheme

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.

Students who wish to avail of the Third Level Graduate Programme but who are not in Ireland can now apply for the IG stamp from home electronically. 
Applications may be submitted electronically to the Registration Office, Burgh Quay, Dublin (bqregofficeapplications@justice.ie). All required documentation should be scanned and included in the application.

This is a short term measure and will run to February 28th 2021 at the latest.

Where a permission has been granted, applicants will still be required to register when they have returned to Ireland or appointments are available.

Please see the INIS wesbite for further information. 

 

Visas and Immigration

Students from EU countries do not need a visa to study in Ireland.

If you are from a non-EU/EEA country, you can check if you need a visa here

Students from visa-required countries should apply for a study visa well in advance of their departure. Guidelines on applying for an Irish study visa are available here

Please note, all students from non-EU/EEA countries, including those from non visa-required countries, will need to register with immigration within three months of your arrival. The UL Global team will arrange an appointment with the Immigration Bureau in Limerick on your behalf and your allocated time slot will be sent to you by email. You must attend your allocated appointment. 

If you require a visa to enter the country you will have to pay a minimum of 50% of your tuition fee to receive your visa support letter. Once UL recieves this payment, your visa support letter will be issued.

Yes. This is an immigration requirement. Medical insurance can be purchased through TransferMate for €160. Alternatively, there are a number of private medical insurance companies in Ireland offering health cover.

Other companies providing private medical insurance include AVIVA, Quinn-healthcare and VHI Healthcare.

 

The UL Global team will organise an appointment with the Immigration Officer, details of which will be given to you during Orientation Week.

The Immigration Bureau in Limerick is located at the Garda Station in Henry Street. There is a charge of €300 each time you register. You can only pay the registration charge of €300 by bank giro or debit/credit card.

You will need to bring the following items to the Immigration Office to register for your Irish Residence Permit (IRP):

• A valid passport
• A valid UL student ID card
• Evidence of financial support (e.g. current bank statement indicating your name or a letter of guarantee from a parent or guardian indicating the availability of sufficient funds to cover you during your period of stay in Ireland or a letter from your sponsor confirming your financial status)
• A letter from the University of Limerick indicating that you are a registered student and indicating the start date and duration of your programme
• Evidence of fees paid or of funded research position
• Evidence of medical insurance
• Registration fee of €300 (payment by bank giro or credit card)

The UL Global will arrange your immigration appointment on your behalf. Your appointment will be scheduled for at least two two weeks after your arrival date to allow your 14-day period of restricted movement. 

Irish universities and colleges accept several English language tests as proof of eligibility. If you are unable to take your English language test due to closures and find no alternative please contact  international@ul.ie to inform us of your situation. Irish universities and colleges are now accepting the Duolingo English Test (DET) for student admission purposes.  DET is offered online with test results in 48 hours. The Irish higher education institutions have confirmed with the Department of Justice and Equality about the recognition of DET for visa purposes

22 December 2020

This notice applies to Immigration and International Protection permissions to reside in the State that are due to expire between 21st January 2021 and 20th April 2021 and supplements all previous extension notices. This is the sixth, and expected to be the final, extension of permissions implemented since the outset of the pandemic.

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 21st January 2021 to 20th April 2021, 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 21st January 2021 - 20th April 2021 are automatically renewed by the Minister to the 20th April 2021. 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 that was renewed by the previous notices which therefore has a new expiry date between 21st January 2021 and 20th April 2021 is automatically renewed by this notice until 20th April 2021.

All renewals in the Dublin area are now being processed online only and the system has been available for all applicants since 20 July 2020 at https://inisonline.jahs.ie, and renewal applications will continue to be accepted.

Please note that due to the recently introduced Covid 19 restrictions the Registration Office in Burgh Quay will close from the 23 December 2020 until further notice. Customers with appointments for first time registrations are being contacted directly by the Immigration Service and they will be prioritised for appointments once the Registration Office can safely reopen.

Registrations outside of the Dublin area are processed by the Garda National Immigration Bureau through the Garda Station network.  Information on the contact details for all the registration offices outside Dublin is available at: https://www.garda.ie/en/about-us/our-departments/office-of-corporate-com....     
Please Note: This notice provides the necessary time for those who can renew their permission, particularly Dublin based customers who can use the online system, to do so and to not wait until April.

Please check the INIS website regularly for updates. 

The standard criteria will now apply as follows:

  • Students holding a valid immigration stamp 2 permission are permitted work 40 hours per week only during the months of June, July, August and September and from 15 December to 15 January inclusive. 
  • At all other times students holding Immigration permission Stamp 2 will be limited to working 20 hours per week.

Further information can be found on the INIS website

From 02 December 2020, customers renewing their Immigration Registration Permision will no longer need to submit their passport to have an immigration stamp attached by their Registration Office. 
 
Find out more

Please check the INIS website regularly for the latest updates on visas and immigration

INIS