Universities are drawing up contingency plans which include delivering classes to students online, and conducting exams over the internet in response to the coronavirus threat.
At Trinity College Dublin the possibility of organising exams online is being explored in the event of limits being placed on public gatherings above a certain size.
A spokeswoman for the university said it has up to 2,500 students sitting exams at any one time in large venues such as the RDS, and it was prudent to explore alternatives. It is also contingency planning for the impact of a potential outbreak in its campus accommodation.
In an email to staff on Tuesday evening, University College Dublin (UCD) president Andrew Deeks said its contingency planning involves lecturers being asked to maximise the use of online methods to deliver lectures and tutorials to support off-campus study.
In addition, the plans involve drawing up alternatives to mid-term exams, such as replacing them with work that can be submitted over a period of time, online assessment or “open book” exams.
He also told staff that the university needs to be able to prepare for the potential likelihood of operating without students or staff on campus.
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