July 16, 2020

Making plans for a return to Campus life

CAFRE is well advanced in its preparations to resume face-to-face delivery of its education and knowledge transfer programmes whilst complying with government advice.

Martin McKendry, CAFRE Director, met with CAFRE staff at Greenmount, Loughry and Enniskillen Campuses to assess options and look at scenario planning. He said,

Martin McKendry, CAFRE Director, meets Peter Simpson and Shane McKinney who are progressing plans for students returning to Loughry Campus, Cookstown in September.

“At CAFRE, we offer a range of Further and Higher Education courses across our campuses. We have programmes in agriculture, food, horticulture and equine. At the College, we are aware that the practical nature of our courses is highly valued, not only by our students, but also by the agri-food industry, who provide careers for our graduates.  Like so many organisations, in the last few months, we have had to use remote delivery and on-line technology to help our students complete their modules and gain the qualifications that they richly deserve.

“However we are now planning to start delivery of education programmes, in September, using a blended approach. This means that we are aiming to use face-to-face delivery for as much of parts of the programmes as possible, complemented with digital remote delivery as appropriate.

“We are closely monitoring Government advice and looking at different scenarios that take into account how we can safely accommodate students on campus. In the next few weeks, we will contact both new and returning students with details about registration, timetables, accommodation, facilities and safety measures.  In the meantime, please be assured that our priority is the safety and well-being of staff, students, agri-food industry employees, their families and the wider community and this will be at the forefront of our planning process”.

Martin McKendry and Seamus McAlinney discuss ongoing equine management at Enniskillen Campus with Sharon Woods.

CAFRE also delivers a range of knowledge transfer and innovation programmes to the agri-food sector. Since face-to-face delivery ceased in March 2020, CAFRE has maintained contact through alternative channels.

George Moffett, Brian Simpson, Sean Harvey and Martin McKendry welcome the addition of outdoor gym equipment to benefit the health and wellbeing of students at Greenmount Campus, Antrim.

The CAFRE Director went on by saying, “We are pleased to have delivered a number of our programmes through telephone advice, technical articles, videos and webinars and we are developing plans to return to face-to-face delivery when it is safe to do so. CAFRE is looking at a number of ways that group training events and programmes of knowledge and technology transfer could re-commence when guidance on social distancing permits”.

The CAFRE Director also reminded students and the agri-food industry that lecturing and advisory staff are still available to provide support as required.  He concluded by saying,

“Our aim at CAFRE is to continue delivering high quality programmes of education and training and we are committed to doing this safely. Please keep in touch with the College through the updates that are provided regularly in the press, on the website and through @discoverCAFRE on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram”.

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