RCSI brings forward exams amid concern over spread of coronavirus

Shauna Power

The Royal College of Surgeons Ireland(RCSI) brought forward final examinations for medical students due to concerns over the spread of the Coronavirus.

Examinations which were to be held at the end of April were brought forward to last weekend in order to ensure that there is no delay in the graduation of the class of 2020. The change of dates is in response to any restrictions that could be put in place as a result of the Coronavirus.

RCSI said in a statement last week, “As part of responsible business continuity, RCSI has been considering how to maintain educational activities if any restrictions were placed on travel or attending classes or examinations”.

“Much of the current education and exams activity could be conducted online. We have taken a decision to move forward one element of the final year medicine exams. This exam is a mandatory requirement for final year students to be awarded their medical degree at the end of May”.

“In one aspect I agree with the move of exams because it’s acting as a precaution for students’ health and wellbeing”, said DIT student Anita Cullen, “On the other hand it’s reducing the time students have to study which for some could hugely affect their result”.

Meanwhile on Thursday, the government announced the closure of all schools and Universities until March 29th, in an attempt to contain the Coronavirus.

Due to the announcement of the closure of universities nationwide, Colleges and schools have been urged to move to online educating of students. Trinity already moved lectures online earlier this week and DCU have postponed Spring graduation ceremonies indefinitely.

In a letter to graduates, DCU President Professor Brian MacCraith said the university was developing contingency plans associated with potential changes in the delivery and assessment of academic programmes in the event of a suspension of normal academic activities.

In light of the closure of colleges, DCU announced through a statement that they are fully prepared to move to online delivery of classes. However, no statement has been released regarding the status of future examinations.

Shauna Power

Image Credit: WikiMedia