While third level campuses have been closed down and the public cannot gather in any significant numbers for the foreseeable future, third-level institutions are using virtual platforms to give prospective students a taste of the lifestyle and study opportunities they offer. The following is a selection of open days across the country.
Mary Immaculate College (MIC)
When? MIC virtual open day took place in October but events can be reviewed at micopenday.ie.
What will open day look like? MIC's virtual open day features talks from the college's academic and student services and support teams. As well as programme talks, the MIC virtual open day includes an interactive digital tour that showcases the college's two campuses – MIC Limerick and MIC Thurles.
A number of student testimonials are also available to watch. To learn more about the college, interested parties are encouraged to view the undergraduate prospectus, which provides general information on the college, student services/supports and specific details relating to the selection of undergraduate programmes, entry requirements and testimonials. The prospectus can be viewed at mic.ie.
Strengths: Each year MIC welcomes more than 1,000 first-year students. The college has one of the highest retention rates of all the third-level institutions. It prides itself on its student-centric ethos, a highly supportive atmosphere and extensive range of support services. It currently has more than 5,000 students, including a large cohort of international students, registered across its range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in MIC Limerick and MIC Thurles.
Accommodation: This year the MIC-owned facility Courtbrack student accommodation opened in Limerick and is available for rental on a weekly rotational basis. MIC Thurles will be offering accommodation for 70 first-year students every second week, during each semester for the 2020-2021 academic year. Students considering applying to MIC for the academic year 2021-2022 should review the MIC website on a regular basis for updates. For more information please contact the MIC accommodation office on 061-302500.
What's new? Two new programmes were added to the MIC offering in 2020, namely the bachelor of education– international (MI004) at MIC Limerick and the bachelor in education, mathematics and business studies (MI014) at MIC Thurles.
Don't miss: In light of Covid-19 restrictions, MIC offered interested parties the chance to ask lecturers and other key members of the college community anything they would like to know about MIC and its degrees, via a series of Instagram Live Q&A sessions. They can be viewed at:
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT)
Mayo campus open days are November 14th from 10am -1pm and May 5th 2021 from 2-5pm. Letterfrack campus open days are November 13th from 2-5pm and March 27th 2021 from 11am-2pm. Winter open day is November 21st from 10am-1pm. Pathways to GMIT is on January 21st 2021 from 5-7pm. Mountbellew campus open day is March 3rd from 9:30am-3pm. Spring open day for all campuses is March 13th 2021 from 10am-1pm.
Register at: openday.gmit.ie
What will open day look like? GMIT launched a virtual open day earlier this year in response to Covid-19 and it is available seven days a week, 365 days a year. This site is designed for prospective students and their families, offering information about all campuses, courses, facilities, supports, interactive career advice and guidance. For the 2020-2021 open days, GMIT is adding live events to this virtual experience, where students can watch and comment on live webinars, join in Q&A sessions and more. The institute has recently launched its new interactive prospectus (gmit.ie/general/online-prospectus). It includes video footage and interactive features that will give students a good feel for the colleges courses and campuses.
Strengths: GMIT prides itself on the positive relationship between staff and students. It offers a broad choice of programmes – in business, science, engineering, health sciences, agriculture, hospitality and computing. Most of those programmes are designed around the three P's – practicals, projects and placements. GMIT was the first Irish college to offer a degree in hotel management and offers a number of courses relating to hospitality, culinary and tourism.
Accommodation: GMIT does not own or operate student accommodation but the Students Union offers an accommodation listing service on its website gmitstudentpad.ie/Housing.
What's new? GMIT and its partners in the Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA) – IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT – are working together to become a Technological University (TU) for the west and north west of Ireland. The CUA will make its formal submission for designation this December. GMIT recently approved a bachelor of education (Hons) in art, design and graphics.
Don't miss: A unique feature of GMIT's virtual open day is the "careers corner", a valuable tool for any Leaving Cert student who may be unsure of their course and career choices. It features a series of presentations and a strengths profiling questionnaire to help them choose the right career path and course to suit their personality and interests.
Institute of Technology Sligo (IT Sligo)
When? November 20th-21st, January 12th 2021 and April 24th 2021.
Register at: itsligo.ie/opendayWhat will open day look like? IT Sligo's open days will take place virtually with some on campus activity in 2021, if it is safe to do so. During the open day prospective students can watch films featuring IT Sligo and the college's programme offerings. Students will be able to discover the modern campus, listen to guest speakers, hear from students and support services and also be in with a chance to win prizes. The IT Sligo team will be available to answer any questions students might have about courses and student life at the college.
Guest speakers at the first event will include Dr Eddie Murphy, a clinical psychologist from RTÉ's Operation Transformation who will focus on mental wellbeing during these difficult times plus Donnchadh O'Mahony from O'Mahony Careers who will give advice on the CAO application process and tips on researching programmes to find the best course for you.
Strengths: IT Sligo is ranked in the top five best performing universities in Ireland, according to U-Multirank. The college is an internationally recognised third-level college, providing university-level education with a reputation that covers the globe.
Accommodation: There is a vast range of accommodation options available to students in Sligo where the cost of living is more affordable than many other towns and cities in Ireland.
There are seven student villages located around the campus, all within a 10-minute walk, so living here and getting around is easy. Student villages offer high-speed broadband, some offer smart televisions and free Netflix, while others offer a laundry service or a free shuttle bus to the train and bus station.
Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT)
When? November 20th-21st
Register at: wit.ie/events/all_news/autumn-open-days-2020
What will open days look like? The event focuses on undergraduate entry for September 2021 but also showcases the opportunities for postgraduate learning and research and flexible study. The WIT team is planning for an open day experience that closely matches its physical open days: The same presentations, question and answer sessions, opportunities for one-on-one conversations with academics and students and virtual campus tours that would normally take place in-person will now happen online.
In addition to a schedule of specialised talks there will be a virtual exhibition space with booths people can drop in to online to chat with someone about their specific queries. As with other years, there will be talks delivered by an academic (this time via Zoom) and time for a Q&A session afterwards. It is expected there will be a schedule of lifestyle talks, such as student supports and clubs and societies. The virtual booths will be attended by lecturers in certain disciplines or various support staff.
Strengths: Celebrating its 50th year, WIT offers a breadth of education opportunities. The college offers degrees in law, architecture, arts, psychology, agricultural science and music. As well as courses across these disciplines: business, accounting, digital marketing, retail management, engineering, built environment, engineering technology, architecture, nursing, health sciences, sport and exercise sciences, arts, social science, culinary arts and hospitality, art, and design.
Accommodation: WIT has two accommodation locations. College campus consists of 66 single en-suite rooms, of which three are suitable for disabled access. These apartments are located on the main campus. Located two-minutes walk from College Street campus and fifteen-minutes walk from the main city campus, accommodation is the ideal location for many WIT students. Flexi-stay packages are now available, which can be tailored to meet individual student requirements.
For further information contact: email@example.com
What's new? The 2021 offering will include three new course options: WD232 Bachelor of business (Hons) in business information systems, WD231 Bachelor of arts (Hons) in early childhood care and education, WD007 Bachelor of engineering (Hons) in automation engineering.
Institute of Technology Carlow (IT Carlow)
When? November 26th from 10am-3pm
Register at: itcarlowvirtualopenday.ie
What will open day look like? Visitors will be able to take a campus tour, listen to IT Carlow students tell their stories, learn about the range of different courses such as business, engineering, science and health, humanities, and computing. Prospective students will be able to participate in live Q&A sessions with the faculty teams, receive advice and guidance on fees, grants, scholarships, and the college's different access routes.
Strengths: IT Carlow offers more than 80 taught programmes to Level 9 across two different campuses. They include courses in engineering, computing, sports and health, science, business, law, media and design, ranging from Level 6 Higher Certificate to Level 9 Master's degree. The recreational sports programme at IT Carlow provides opportunities for physical activity, friendship and social interaction and there are more than 40 active clubs and societies.
What's new? IT Carlow is three-quarters of the way into a €150million capital development programme that has already delivered a Centre for Aerospace Engineering, the Dargan Centre for Research and Innovation, a multimillion Student Services and Sports Facilities Centre and the Haughton Centre for Teaching and Learning. Work is nearing completion on a 31-acre south sports campus that will consolidate IT Carlow's position as one of Ireland's leading third-level institutes for the provision of sport and physical activity.
Don't miss: The "Start Your Story" videos shot and fronted by students across various courses who tell their own story.
What will open days look like? With campuses located in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, Griffith College offers courses in accountancy, business, computing, design, fashion, law, media, music and drama, training and education. The private college, which currently has more than 7,000 enrolled students, provides for a range of study options including internationally recognised undergraduate, postgraduate, part-time, professional and blended learning courses. It has a good reputation nationally and internationally for the quality of its graduates. Prospective students can register for upcoming open days at:
Cork Institute of Technology (CIT)
Register at: cit.ie/cao
What will open days look like? CIT has decided to run an "Open Fortnight" this year providing a two-week programme of live online events, open to students, parents/guardians, teachers and guidance counsellors. Participants can ask questions to staff members from a broad selection of programmes to provide the insights required to help prospective students choose CAO programmes of interest and relevance to them. Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from current students and recent graduates who will talk about their personal experiences and offer advice about student life.
Strengths: CIT offers an extensive range of CAO courses. The institute wins multimillion-euro research funding on an annual basis and has strong connections with industry. Work placement features strongly and during their studies, CIT students get the opportunity to gain skills for employment or to start their own businesses.
What's new? On January 1st 2021, CIT will join with Institute of Technology Tralee to establish Munster Technological University (MTU). Incoming students will enjoy many additional benefits, such as an enhanced range and quality of services and supports available to students and a greater range of options regarding course choice, progression opportunities, research and industry placement.
Other open days include:
Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT)
When: January 18th 2021
Royal Irish Academy of Music
When: Primary and post-primary webinar is on November 4th and 18th and December 2nd. Open day webinar is on November 26th.
National College of Ireland
When: November 25th and December 5th
Dublin Business School
When: December 1st from 5-6.30pm
When: November 9th-11th