University students are in the midst of their return to college following the summer break, but for some university students it will not be business as usual as many universities are airing on the side of caution and taking a hybrid approach to studying.

One such student who will be hybrid learning is Oisín Maguire from Kinawley, a second-year law student at Queen’s University. Oisín completed all of his studies virtually last year of learning from Fermanagh but now he plans to return to Belfast as he takes on a hybrid approach to learning.

Speaking to The Impartial Reporter, Oisín said: “For me, this year is rather different. Last year my course was entirely online so I remained at home. This year, part of my course is on campus so I am now living in Belfast. It will be strange to actually sit in a live seminar.”

Oisín will approach learning this year with a degree of excitement as this will be a new style of learning for the law student.

He said: “I am unsure about how the hybrid style of learning will work. It would be nice the be on campus full time for a more fruitful experience.”

Reflecting on the period of full-time online learning and it’s challenges, Oisín said: “I found it difficult to focus gazing into a computer screen all day long. Often it was difficult to motivate myself. For the fees that one pays, the experience is pretty substandard.”

Others in Oisín’s peer group had a different experience.

He said: “Some friends enjoy being entirely online. Everyone's experience has varied. In Queen’s, the teaching delivery approach varies depending on subject. I have friends doing medicine who are unsure of how much they'll be on campus at all.

I have other friends who attend university in the south of Ireland and they plan to be on campus full time.”

Meanwhile, Queen’s University, Ulster University and Northern Ireland further education colleges have introduced pop vaccination centre on campus for dates throughout September and October. The initiative will 60 clinics opening across 30 further and higher education campuses during September.