The President of Waterford Institute of Technology has said students at the university will be asked to pay full fees, despite its decision to deliver all lectures, tutorials and practical classes off-campus throughout the coming academic year.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Professor Willie Donnelly said that WIT has the same staff costs, which account for 80% of overall costs, together with overheads.

The decision to host lectures remotely was emailed to students and posted on Waterford IT's website.

WIT said that the academic model has been developed with the welfare of students and staff in mind.

Some activities, such as laboratory, workshop and studio-based work, along with courses that use special equipment, will take place on campus in Waterford, with social distancing and personal protective equipment (PPE) as necessary.

Prof Donnelly said the "shift in the cluster make-up to two thirds coming from private households" is the key factor in the decision to move to blended learning.

He said WIT is committed to taking in more students where there is high demand for courses.

Hotspots will be provided at the college for students who need access to broadband, he said.

He added that creating a social environment was a "main concern" of WIT, especially for first-year students, and he said management is working closely with the student union to see how this can be achieved.

Third-level colleges throughout the country are expected to finalise timetable details once offers are made to incoming first-year students following next week's Leaving Cert calculated grades.

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The country's eight universities are planning to deliver a mix of online and campus-based lectures for the coming year.

Other ITs are expected to finalise their plans once CAO offers are made on Friday week.

Minister for Education Norma Foley has said that whether or not full registration fees of up to €3,000 per students will be applied is a matter for individual colleges.

Additional reporting Conor Kane