Photo above: RCSI students Hugh Woulfe, captain of the RCSI men’s GAA team, and Róisín Baker, captain of Dublin’s camogie team, take to the pitch in Croke Park, which will host RCSI medical students this September.
Picture: Julien Behal Photography
To ensure that medical students can continue their education in a safe environment during the Covid-19 pandemic, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences has teamed up with Croke Park Meetings and Events to create “a unique satellite campus at the historic home of the GAA”.
RCSI lectures will be held in event spaces throughout Croke Park for the 2020/2021 academic year beginning in September. According to RCSI, over 650 students will use these facilities to continue their learning at a safe physical distance in smaller learning communities, which will cycle through the campus on alternate days over a six-day week.
In addition to being well connected to the RCSI city centre campus and the rest of Dublin, Croke Park is close to Beaumont Hospital, the main RCSI teaching hospital. This proximity of the new satellite campus to Beaumont will allow academics who work there to easily travel to deliver lectures.
From Monday through Saturday, students will also have access to study spaces, restaurants and other amenities at the Croke Park facilities beyond teaching hours. Provisions have been put in place to allow the facilities to be used for sporting events on Saturdays if matches return in the autumn.
“There is no doubt that the academic year ahead will be like no other in our university’s 236-year history. Across the university, our academic and professional staff are working tirelessly to address the challenge of continuing to deliver an exceptional education in a much altered environment”, said Prof Cathal Kelly, CEO/Registrar of RCSI.
“We are developing an engaged blended learning programme and putting robust safety measures in place in order ensure we can provide a positive educational experience in a safe environment. Teaming up with Croke Park will ensure that our students receive a meaningful and safe educational experience when they return this autumn.”
Most of the students that will use the new satellite campus would typically attend lectures in Beaumont Hospital. The facilities in the Dublin city centre campus will also reopen with social distancing measures and timetables that will allow for a balance of both on-campus and digitally-engaged teaching.
“Croke Park is delighted to provide a range of safe, flexible spaces where the RCSI can continue the educational experience of future doctors during these unprecedented times. We look forward to working with the university team and accommodating its students in our meeting and events spaces, which are reopening this week.” said Mr Mark Dorman, Head of Stadium Business, Croke Park.
Outside of Croke Park, RCSI students will continue to benefit from clinical teaching in one of Europe’s most advanced clinical healthcare simulation centres on 26 York Street and in the Education and Research Centre at Beaumont Hospital.