UCDSU “Disappointed” at courses online-only

Image Credit: Dominic Daly

UCDSU have announced their disappointment in certain courses in UCD being delivered fully online.

UCDSU have announced their disappointment in certain courses in UCD being delivered fully online. 

This comes following individual students contacting UCDSU on this issue. It is presumed that students affected were informed that their courses were fully online by their school. 

UCD’s latest announcement on face to face learning was that all students could expect anywhere from 30% to 86% face to face learning. UCD had originally promised 40% to 60% face to face learning for undergraduates and 75% to 100% for postgraduates in an email to all students on the 8th July. This was then revised to 30% to 70% for undergraduates, and 20% to 86% for postgraduates, following the announcement of strict physical distancing guidelines by Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris on July 22nd.

In a statement on July 23rd President Deeks told The University Observer  “The guidance issued for re-opening is in line with our own framework for return to campus working”. President Deeks did not respond to direct questions regarding the effects of Harris’s announcement on UCD’s plans to reopen, and UCD’s plans were revised two weeks later.

UCDSU President Conor Anderson’s comment is as follows: “Students have been contacting UCD Students’ Union in recent days airing their disappointment that their course is now being fully delivered online with no in-person component whatsoever. This is affecting both undergraduate and postgraduate students. It is unfortunately not a surprise, but it does illustrate how exaggerated the estimates of UCD management have been over the course of the summer. Two separate estimates were given: first, in July, that undergraduates could expect an average of 40-60% of their courses to be in-person and on-campus. Graduate students were told to expect between 75-100% of their learning to be in-person. A second communication was issued in August, indicating that undergraduates could expect anywhere between 30% and 70%, but for graduate students, those numbers were slashed to between 20% and 86%. We are now being made aware that some courses will have 0% in person teaching, just weeks before classes resume.”  

“UCD Students’ Union were worried that UCD management were over-promising class time to students since the first numbers were released. Students need realistic estimates of how much time they will be spending on campus in order to properly budget for the year and make the best decisions about accommodation and travel. Instead, they were told to expect wildly optimistic amounts of in-person class time that are now not being facilitated. This leads to two major issues for students; one they have already signed leases in Dublin based on the knowledge that some classes would be face to face and the second major issue is that some students will have travelled from abroad to study at UCD and they will find that their course is now entirely online and they could have studied from their home country.”  

“When all timetables are released by 7 September, we will see just how many courses are planned to be totally online. It is not fair to toy with students’ expectations like this, and we call on UCD management to communicate clearly how many courses will be fully delivered online and to explain to students why they are not following through on the promised face-to-face time.”  

If you have been affected by your course being moved online, please contact us confidentially at editor@universityobserver.ie or deputy@universityobserver.ie.