• Third level students are faced with a real dilemma at present, as to whether or not to sign leases with landlords for accommodation, as they do not yet know when they will be required to be on campus and when they will be working online for this upcoming academic year.

    The pandemic is seriously increasing stress for students and their families who are trying to ensure that the student has a place to live while attending a third level college, but at the same time not knowing if they will be working perhaps weeks at a time, online and will be at home.

    Many colleges will reopen at the end of this month, and first year students are not even seeking accommodation at present, as they must await their predicted grades leaving cert results next week, and will only then be offered third level places.

    Nonetheless there is increasing stress on third level students preparing to get back to their college courses. It’s a big financial commitment to sign a lease for accommodation, when you don’t yet know how much of the next academuic year that you actually need to be physically present on campus.

    Castlebar native, Tom Baynes, who is about to begin his second year in UCC, studying law and French and UCC Student Union Welfare Officer Jamie Frasier spoke to Midwest News today about the present situation.

  • The Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris must immediately clarify for students what’s happening in terms of online college learning between now and Christmas, that according to Mayo Sinn Féin TD Rose Conway-Walsh.

    The Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Further and Higher Education, Research Innovation and Science says students and their families need to know now if they need to secure student accommodation this term.

    In addition she says the people who have paid out for student accommodation, that is now not required because the college is providing learning on line, must get their deposits returned quickly.

    Deputy Conway Walsh spoke to Midwest News today.

  • The first Engineering Fair in the Northwest will take place tomorrow (Sunday) at IT Sligo.

    The college is partnering with healthcare company Abbott to host the engineering fair from 12-5pm tomorrow at IT Sligo, with free admission.


    The event is being run as part of Engineers Week and will include a range of performances, interactive displays, workshops and demonstrations to interest all the family.

    The interactive workshops will include - how to create an ice cream without using a freezer, seeing how water is treated, and developing 2D computer games.

    Visitors can race mini-drones in an aerial race course on campus, and build hydrogen-powered cars in a hands-on workshop.

    Those attending will be greeted by a larger-than-life robot, and see the Belfast-built Delorean car that featured in "Back to the Future".

    Organisers say the Sligo Engineering Fair is an opportunity for children, young people and their parents to discover the amazing world of engineering, with fun shows and demonstrations showing how engineering is crucial to our every day lives - from clean water to medical devices.

    It's aimed at encouraging more young people, and young women in particular, to consider a future career in engineering.

    The event takes place from 12 to 5pm this Sunday at the Institute of Technology in Sligo, and admission is free.

  • NUI Galway is to refund students who have decided not to take up campus accommodation.

    The university says it has been contacted by students over their new timetables.

    Money will be refunded for anyone who is not proceeding with their booking due to having less time on campus.


  • There's a lack of understanding and knowledge about antibiotic use among college students in the West of Ireland.

    That's according to a study carried out this year of over 500 students from across all five GMIT campuses.

    The study shows there's a misuse of antibiotics, with 35% of those surveyed using leftover antobiotics, while some students obtain antibiotics online or abroad.

    The study findings will be published in full next year, as the group who carried it out hope to secure funding to run a nationwide health promotion campaign for third-level students.

    This is the first Irish survey focused on students aged 18 to 25 to measure their knowledge of antibiotics and resistance.

    The GMIT scientists who carried out the survey say public health campaigns should be tailored to reach a targeted audience, using words and language people will understand, as these students are the future parents and educators of the next generation, and need to have the correct message on the proper use of antibiotics.

  • SUSI is warning that today is the final day for students to apply for a college grant.

    So far, the national student grant awarding authority has received almost 98 thousand applications.

    Those who have not started the process are advised to contact SUSI immediately.



  • Students receiving their first round CAO offers later today are being urged to treat it as the only one they get.

    Thousands will be able to log on to the CAO's website from 2pm and find out if they're successful in getting their preferred course.

    The offers are being issued earlier this year after the High Court last year ruled in favour of a student that the existing appeals process was unfair and not fit for purpose.

  • Two students were taken to hospital following a substance-related emergency at NUI Galway last evening.

    The alarm was raised about the condition of the two male students in their early twenties, and emergency services were called to Corrib Village.

    The students required medical care at the scene before being taken to UHG as a precaution – one of the young men remains in hospital today, but his condition is not believed to be life threatening.

    In a statement on social media, NUI Galway says the University activated its emergency response protocol and emergency services came to the support of the students, who are now under medical care.

    They’re reminding students to stay safe and mind each other, and if anyone is aware of someone who may have taken a substance and had a bad reaction, they should contact the  emergency services immediately.



  • Up to 50 students have reported incidents of rape and sexual assault in Galway in the past six months.

    The figures follow revelations yesterday that three students reported rape in the first two weeks of college in Cork.

    Executive director of the Galway Rape Crisis Centre Cathy Connolly told the Irish Independent that they have been contacted by between 45-50 students in the last six months.

    She said September and October were busy months as the college year begins, and first-years can be quite vulnerable.

    Noeline Blackwell, CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, said that while they receive many calls during Freshers Week, they answer a stream of calls all year round, with reports of incidents involving students.

    Ms Blackwell added that consent was something that colleges should discuss with students, as they learn to balance their "new levels of freedom".