NUI Galway have today announced the cancellation of all planned Erasmus, International student exchanges and placement programmes for students in semester two.
In an email from Deputy President and Registrar Pól Ó Dochartaigh sent to all registered students of the University, it was announced that; “the University has taken the difficult decision, in the context of the continuing challenges of Covid-19 to half all outgoing mobility for NUI Galway students in semester 2.”
The University confirmed in the email that “alternative pathways” will be offered to students that were due to go abroad in semester two , advising anybody due to go abroad in their second semester to contact their relevant schools and programme directors.
One student, who was due to go on Erasmus to France in semester two told SIN the news was “to be expected”.
“It is absolutely to be expected. I would say that I don’t hold it against the University that they can’t facilitate it. My only criticism towards them would be their communication style or lack thereof.”
“I haven’t had a single email from them all year not since the semester started”
The student also called into question issues surrounding accommodation arrangements made by those due to go abroad.
“Accommodation has definitely been an issue for me. I had made arrangements with housemates that my room would be available for somebody else to take because I would be living in France but obviously that didn’t go ahead.”
She also raised concerns about how the cancellation of her international placement would impact on the quality of her degree.
“I definitely worry that I won’t have as good of a level of French as somebody who had spent a semester abroad. That is definitely a concern.”
“We got an email today to tell us that our Erasmus was cancelled, but no mention on the effects that would have on my overall degree.”
“There’s also no information as to whether or not the standard for final year has changed. It would usually be set with the idea that you had spent nine months living working and studying in a country that spoke that language and you would obviously have a better language ability.”
Student’s Union President Pádraic Toomey has also levelled criticism at the late nature of the decision and appealed to the University to give assistance to students.
“We are very disappointed at the late nature of this, it’s more bad news for students. Students need to be informed on issues like this a lot sooner.”, he said.