COVID-19: Updates and information

Only essential on-site activities may continue on campus, in line with the Government's Enhanced Public Health Protection Measures for Higher Education, including:

  • All research activities
  • Lab-based and practical tuition

All other teaching will be online in the coming weeks. Read on...

Important COVID-19 update regarding Enhanced Public Health Protection Measures for Higher Education

25 September 2020

As the COVID-19 situation has deteriorated nationally, the Minister for Higher Education, Simon Harris TD, has this evening announced a set of new and enhanced public health protection measures for higher education. They bring into effect in NUI Galway (and other higher education institutions around the country) similar restrictions to those in place in Dublin-based higher education institutions.

The objective of these measures is to reduce the movement of students, and they will therefore greatly impact our planned resumption of teaching activities this semester.

Only essential on-site activities may continue, including (quoting from the advice issued):

  • “All research activities”
  • “Lab-based and practical tuition”

While there is a provision for limited teaching in small tutorials to continue, the clear intent of the Government’s measures is that this should be a limited number of small groups only and on the basis that the tuition can’t be done online.

In practice, therefore, in terms of teaching, only laboratory-based and practical tuition and related inductions will take place next week on-campus. All other teaching will be online. Individual lecturers requiring access to their offices in order to deliver their teaching and related materials online will continue to be granted access in that regard.

Library access may continue on a planned and regulated entry basis, again avoiding congregation risk. The James Hardiman Library remains open to users from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Please note the need to reserve a seat in advance to gain admission, using the Seat Booking system. If you wish to borrow any books, please order these via the Click and Collect service. To request a journal article or book chapter and receive it electronically you can use the Scan and Deliver service. Please see here for further details of services, and if you have any queries, please address these to library@nuigalway.ie.

Society and Club activities on-campus should not take place.

Since this University was established in 1845, very few groups of students and staff will have encountered such extraordinary and challenging circumstances as this year has brought. For our students, you have overcome much adversity since the start of the year to reach this point. For our staff, you have continually innovated and adapted to deliver excellent education and services to our students. This is undoubtedly a blow to those of us who hoped to return to campus next week, but we will continue to support each other through this crisis.

As a community, I know we will continue to adapt our behaviours as required, because we know that our actions can save lives, not just in this University, but in the wider community.

We will provide further updates early next week, but in the interim I urge you all to continue to follow public health advice. Stay safe and be kind to each other.

Teaching and Learning in the coming weeks

28 September 2020

Today marks the first day of Semester 1, an important day in the University’s calendar made all the more significant by the challenges we have faced in getting here. While many of you were looking forward to returning to the classroom and lecture hall this week, due to the enhanced public health protection measures introduced by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science on Friday, our on-campus teaching for the coming weeks will be restricted to lab-based and practical tuition only. This means that the indicative schedules and programme timetables shared with you in September are now no longer up-to-date and, since Friday, staff across our Schools and Colleges have been amending student timetables. Please look out for emails from your School with up-to-date information.

College round-up:

(For students taking modules from more than one College, please note the information relating to each College).

College of Business, Public Policy and Law:

  • All teaching in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics is now online. Any labs that may necessitate on-campus presence will not begin before week 4.
  • The School of Law is currently finalising a revised timetable for all programmes for synchronous content online, which will be issued to students shortly.
  • Students in Shannon College of Hotel Management received a revised timetable on Friday evening, which commenced this morning.

College of Science and Engineering:

  • All planned on-campus lectures and tutorials will move online for the period the special measures apply.
  • For the most part, laboratory sessions and practicals will take place on-campus as planned. 
  • There may be some additional changes at programme level. In these circumstances, Heads of School or Programme Directors will advise students accordingly via Blackboard as soon as possible.

College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies

  • Practice-based modules and instruction remain on campus, utilising PPE as originally planned. All other teaching will be online.
  • Communications with students are via Programme Directors.

College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

  • Practical tuition, which includes laboratory and clinical skills sessions, to continue on campus as scheduled. 
  • Programme Directors/Year Leads will contact students on any amendments arising from the new measures.

Online teaching and learning

Students in Second Year onwards will be familiar with using Blackboard and have experience of accessing online teaching and learning from the last academic year.

For First Years, the Blackboard virtual learning environment is a totally new experience for most of you. Blackboard gives you access to information about your programme, modules and timetables, enables you to view notes and video/audio recordings from lecturers, to participate in live online webinars, to log attendance at lectures, to contact your lecturers, and more.

If you are new to Blackboard - or if you need a refresher - check out our two Blackboard guides:

Attending on-campus classes

For those of you attending lab-based and practical teaching sessions on campus, please remember to observe the control measures in place to protect you and those around you.

View our quick COVID-19 toolkit here.

Adhering to Public Health Advice

  • Act immediately on symptoms: The single most important step we can take is to act quickly on the first sign of symptoms. Download the HSE COVID-19 Tracker app and assess your personal health. If you notice a high temperature (38°C or higher), a cough, difficulty breathing or a change in your sense of taste or smell, stay at home or isolate on campus. Call the Student Health Unit or your GP immediately, and follow the doctor’s instructions. Avail of a free COVID-19 test, if required, and continue to self-isolate until instructed otherwise.
  • Socialise safely and call out reckless behaviour: Given the seriousness of this pandemic, we won’t hesitate in dealing with any breaches of public health guidelines in line with our Student Code of Conduct (which has penalties up to and including expulsion). In other countries, we’ve seen universities close as parties broke guidelines and spread COVID-19. I know most of our community want to socialise safely, but given the health dangers of actions that go against the public health advice, we will be invoking the code of conduct for any breaches. 

Stay up-to-date

Please continue to keep up-to-date by:

  • Checking your @nuigalway.ie email account regularly
  • Logging into Blackboard regularly
  • Downloading the NUI Galway and HSE COVID Tracker apps
  • Checking the Alerts page for updates

If you have a question that is specific to your module, e.g. regarding timetables, you should firstly make contact with your module coordinator. If you are having trouble finding the right contact details, please contact your College or School through the contact details on their web pages.

Semester 1 Timetables

Our Schools are adapting teaching and learning timetables in light of the Enhanced Public Health Protection Measures for Higher Education announced by the Government on 25 September 2020.

Look out for updates to your programme timetables on Blackboard / in emails from your School.

Campus Login, Student Email, Blackboard - check out our user guides

Activating your campus account - how to set up your student login and password

New students need to activate their campus account so that they can log in to important university systems and services, like Blackboard and student email.

Blackboard User Guide - how to use our virtual learning environment

Blackboard is NUI Galway's virtual learning environment, where students can access information about their programme, modules and timetables, view notes and video/audio recordings from lecturers, participate in live online webinars, log attendance at lectures, contact their lecturers, and more.

Blackboard is particularly important this semester, considering the amount of teaching and learning that will be delivered online.

If you are new to Blackboard - or if you need a refresher - check out our two Blackboard guides:

Student Email - how to access your NUI Galway email account

It is important to check your @nuigalway.ie email account regularly for up-to-date information from your lecturers, School offices, student services and COVID-19 alerts.

See how to log in to your NUI Galway email account at:

Dates for next academic year

COVID-19 Access to Campus & Cleaning Protocols

Virtual Events

Check out upcoming Virtual Events here

Key Updates

We would like to draw the attention of our University community to the following updates

Keeping our Community Safe: A message to all students from Dean of Students, Professor Michelle Millar (24 September 2020)

Dear student,

I’m writing to welcome you to the NUI Galway campus, during these most extraordinary and challenging times. Every year I remind you that our first priority is your health and wellbeing. After the last six months, this has never been clearer to us all. I want to assure you that we have been working hard all summer to reopen the campus safely. Keeping each other safe is our shared responsibility and, with this deadly virus on the rise again, we have to work together like never before to keep COVID-19 at bay.

WHAT WE'RE DOING

  • In line with public health guidelines, teaching spaces are being laid out and managed in order to safeguard the health of students and staff.
  • The library, campus sports facilities and most restaurants and social spaces will be open and operating under public health guidance.
  • Signage, directional arrows and one-way systems have been installed throughout campus buildings to support safe social distancing. Take a look at some of the new signage here.
  • Hand sanitisers have been installed throughout the campus and sanitising wipes are available in all teaching rooms for students and staff to sanitise hands and work stations before use.
  • Face coverings are being provided to all students and staff for use when indoors on campus. See the Students’ Union website for details on where, when and how to collect your masks.
  • With support from the Higher Education Authority, we’re enhancing mental health and wellbeing support for students and providing additional student counsellors this year. Our Counselling, Chaplaincy, Pastoral Care and Student Wellbeing supports will continue to help students who encounter difficulties throughout the academic year.
  • For all First Years, my colleagues are phoning you, to welcome and introduce you to the University. 
  • With support from the Government, a laptop loan scheme will help disadvantaged students access technology. Around 800 laptops will be loaned to students through the Access Centre. See more details here.
  • Any student who is registered to stay in University-owned student accommodation will be entitled to a refund if they decide not to proceed with their booking due to having less time on campus than originally planned.

 WHAT WE NEED YOU TO DO

  • Follow the public health guidelines. We’ve created a short video to outline the basics.

  • Act immediately on symptoms: The single most important step we can take is to act quickly on the first sign of symptoms. Download the HSE COVID-19 Tracker app and assess your personal health. If you notice a high temperature (38°C or higher), a cough, difficulty breathing or a change in your sense of taste or smell, stay at home or isolate on campus. Call the Student Health Unit or your GP immediately, and follow the doctor’s instructions. Avail of a free COVID-19 test, if required, and continue to self-isolate until instructed otherwise.
  • Socialise safely and call out reckless behaviour: Given the seriousness of this pandemic, we won’t hesitate in dealing with any breaches of public health guidelines in line with our Student Code of Conduct (which has penalties up to and including expulsion). In other countries, we’ve seen universities close as parties broke guidelines and spread COVID-19. I know most of our community want to socialise safely, but given the health dangers of actions that go against the public health advice, we will be invoking the code of conduct for any breaches.  

IMPORTANT RESOURCES FOR YOU

Download these apps:

  • HSE COVID-19 Tracker app – to help alert you and others of close contacts with confirmed COVID-19 cases.
  • NUI Galway app – to help stay up-to-date on University news and services, and to receive important alerts
  • Blackboard app – to access information on your programme, online teaching and learning aids, and to log your attendance at lectures

Know your supports:

  • Alerts page – where you will find up-to-date and reliable information on the changes to campus life and our response to COVID-19
  • Student Supports – where you will find information on how to access accommodation and financial supports, counselling, chaplaincy, wellbeing and pastoral care services, career guidance, disability supports and more
  • Student Health Unit – where you will find details on how to seek free and confidential health advice

You will receive more detailed information on how your lectures will operate from your School, and we are all working together to bring you the best campus experience possible.

Know that we are all in this together, and are here to support you throughout the year.

Best wishes,

Michelle.

Professor Michelle Millar, Dean of Students, NUI Galway

University President's Video Message to our New Students (23 September 2020)

To mark orientation week at the start of what promises to be a challenging academic year, NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh welcomes our new students to campus and offers some advice on staying safe and taking care of each other and our community.

Distributing Face Masks on Campus (22 September 2020)

We are distributing three high quality, reusable and washable face masks to every student in NUI Galway to help keep our community safe and well. The Students' Union team will be giving them out over the next three weeks, starting with First Year Orientation this week.

Mon - Thurs: 12pm-3pm

  • How: You need your student number. Follow the arrows when you get inside the Quad.
  • SU also giving out diary, wall planner and SU card.

Take a look around campus (21 September 2020)

Explore the new signage and safety measures on campus, and see how staff are adapting to the changes.

 


Temporary Road Restrictions / Closures in South Campus

In order to facilitate enhanced pedestrian travel throughout our campus, the University will be operating a number of temporary road restrictions throughout the academic year 2020/21 in the South Campus adjacent to the Arts/Science Building.

Please see further details and maps at: www.nuigalway.ie/buildings/service-helpdesk/engineering-infrastructure

Control Measures on Campus, inc face coverings, hygiene, cleaning, social distancing and apps

See information on the range of COVID-19 control measures on our Health, Hygiene and Travel page.