Third-Level Education Reopening Plan

By Steven Galvin - Last update

Get Daily news and updates directly to your Email

The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has published the third-level education reopening plan, which foresees a safe return to on-site activities for further and higher education students, learners, and staff for the 2021/22 academic year.

The government is developing a  framework allows institutions to adapt to changing circumstances and allow a safe return for all.

The return is based on the target that the majority of people over 18 in will have been vaccinated by September 2021. Planning is proceeding on the basis that full resumption of on-site activity is possible, while ensuring that overall numbers attending on-site are monitored and controlled.

Third-Level Education Reopening Plan

In addition to the safe return to on-site activity, the government have laid out seven further objectives for:

  • to support ongoing public health requirements
  • to support the ongoing needs of students, learners and staff
  • to retain some scope for online teaching and scope for continuity for students and learners who cannot attend in person for health reasons
  • to ensure coherence and consistency in planning and the implementation of public health guidance across the sector
  • to support autonomy in the work of institutions and providers in the development of their plans
  • to enable a significant resumption of disrupted research activity and return of researchers to site
  • to enable a phased return for on-site learning during the summer period

A new framework has been developed for a safe return to on-site activity for September 2021 allowing institutions and providers to consistently and safely adapt to ongoing changes to COVID-19 guidance and circumstances.

All going to plan, it is expected that a full return to on-site activity is feasible.

This will mean that larger lectures can happen within limits linked to reducing the size / capacity of very large lecture halls and adjustments to the timetable to reduce the number of people on site at any one time. Institutions and providers will determine how best to do this in their own context.

The following will take place on site from September:

  • laboratory teaching and learning
  • classroom based teaching and learning
  • tutorials
  • workshops
  • smaller lectures
  • research
  • workspaces
  • libraries
  • canteens – operational in accordance with public health advice on work place canteens
  • sports facilities – operational in accordance with public health advice
  • clubs and societies – operational in accordance with public health advice
  • bars – operational in accordance with public health advice

Institutions and providers will provide for the needs of individual staff and students who remain at risk of infection, in line with public health advice. is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level, CAO and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses and colleges.


Steven Galvin

Online Social Media Influencer Summer Course for Teenagers
CAO 2021 Timeline: CAO Change of Mind Deadline


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We'd love to send you the latest news and articles about evening classes, further learning and adult education by email. We'll always treat your personal details with the utmost care and will never sell them to other companies for marketing purposes.

Comments and Reviews Policy

Featured Articles

Posted in: Disability

What is Disability Access Route to Education (DARE)?

The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is an initiative in Ireland designed to support students with disabilities in gaining access to higher education. DARE is a college and university admissions scheme that offers an alternative admissions route for eligible students who have experienced additional educational challenges due to a disability. What is Disability Access […]

Posted in: Uncategorised

CAO 2024 Timeline: Important Dates for Your Diary

The CAO Online Application Facility for 2024 is now open for students. Closing Date for Applications is the 1st February at 5pm. Students applying to CAO listed courses should make their application as soon as possible in order to avail of the discounted registration fee of €30 (Available until 5 PM on January 20th). Registration […]

Posted in: Uncategorised

What is Higher Education Access Route (HEAR)?

The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) is an admissions scheme in Ireland that offers places in higher education courses to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. What is Higher Education Access Route (HEAR)? It helps students who face social or economic barriers get admitted to college degree programs across universities, institutes of technology, and other […]

Posted in: Uncategorised

10 Great Christmas Gift Ideas for Students

‘Tis the season of joy and gifting, and if you’re on the hunt for the perfect presents for the students in your life, look no further! From tech-savvy gadgets to cozy essentials, our curated list of 10 Great Christmas Gift Ideas for Students is here to spark inspiration and spread a little holiday cheer. Let […]

Posted in: Uncategorised

Make the Most of College Open Days: A Guide for Students and Parents

Visiting university and institute of technology open days can help students immensely in choosing the right course and college for their future. If you’re planning to attend an Open Day, keep reading as we drop some tips on how make the Most of College Open Days: A Guide for Students and Parents/ Make the Most […]

Launch Your Career Before You Graduate

College is certainly about expanding your knowledge through studies, but it also offers invaluable opportunities to jumpstart your career. The old standard of simply earning a degree no longer guarantees jobs or success after graduation. Savvy students use their college years to gain real world experience, build networks and develop skills that pay off when […]

Posted in: Uncategorised

What is QQI?

What is QQI? QQI stands for Quality and Qualifications Ireland. It is the national agency responsible for quality assurance and qualifications in further and higher education and training in Ireland. What is QQI? QQI was established in 2012 under the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act. It brought together four predecessor organizations – […]

Posted in: Study Abroad UCAS

What is UCAS?

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is the central organization in the UK that manages applications to undergraduate university and college courses. What is UCAS? UCAS allows students to submit a single application for up to 5 courses at UK universities and colleges. Students apply through the main UCAS scheme for courses starting in the […]

Posted in: College Life

What Will My First Week in College Be Like?

Congratulations,. You’ve got your CAO points & you’ve accepted your place and now you’re starting to think about what college will be like. A new exciting chapter is beginning in your life. Adventure awaits! Although many of you will be excited about this new stage, it’s normal to be mindful of what this new experience […]

Posted in: Leaving Cert

The Wait is Over – Analyzing Your CAO Round 1 Offer

For Leaving Cert students across Ireland, CAO Round 1 offers represent that long-awaited moment. Now that the results are in, it’s time to carefully weigh your options. Here’s some advice on navigating Round 1 offers: Options Don’t panic if you didn’t get your first choice course. Look objectively at the offer(s) you did receive. Could […]