The Irish Times view on Leaving Cert reforms

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on April 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The consultation with students and parents as part of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) review of the Leaving Cert, reveals a surprising ignorance on how the exam has been radically transformed, as revised curriculums across a wide range of subjects have been introduced …” (more)

[Irish Times, 1 April]

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Call for students in disadvantaged schools to get extra CAO points

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 29th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Students from disadvantaged schools should receive extra CAO points in recognition of the barriers they face, the president of a school management body has suggested. Paul Fiorentini, president of the Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools, said more work is needed to ensure greater equality of access to higher education …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 28 March]

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Fee Certainty Is Not Enough to Quell the Northern Ireland CAO Tumble

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 21st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“It was perhaps unclear, on June 23rd, 2016, just how destabilising Britain’s Brexit vote would be to the European economy as a whole. Ireland, as the UK’s nearest neighbour and one of its closest trading partners, is particularly exposed to these destabilising forces. It quickly became clear that myriad sectors of the Irish economy would come under significant strain, especially in the event of a no-deal Brexit …” (more)

[Matthew Murphy, University Times, 20 March]

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CAO applicants are chasing the jobs in booming economy

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 9th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“This year’s school leavers have made smart CAO choices to follow the jobs in the booming economy. A big jump in demand for courses in the Stem areas of science, technology, engineering and maths is a clear response to the wealth of opportunities for such graduates. In the fastest-growing economy in Europe, old reliables, such as teaching, law, architecture and construction have also seen a bounce in applications …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 9 March]

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Sharp drop in CAO applications from UK amid Brexit uncertainty

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 9th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“There has been a sharp drop in students from Britain and Northern Ireland applying to study in the Republic amid continuing uncertainty over Brexit. A breakdown of latest Central Applications Office (CAO) figures for 2019 shows applications from Northern Ireland are down by 18% annually while those from Britain are down 13% …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 9 March]

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A senator wants students to get CAO points for sports and social action

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 25th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A Fine Gael Senator is proposing to change the CAO applications system to give points for social and athletic involvement. Senator for Cavan-Monaghan Joe O’Reilly has proposed to change the current 625 points system to award 550 points for academic subjects and 75 points to social, cultural and athletic achievements …” (more)

[, 25 February]

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Ministers McHugh and Mitchell O’Connor welcome earlier date for Round One CAO offers

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD and Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD have today (15 February, 2019) welcomed confirmation that Round One offers from the Central Applications Office (CAO) will be issued this year on the earlier date of Thursday, 15 August 2019 …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 15 February]

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Leaving Cert students set to receive college offers four days earlier than normal

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“This year’s Leaving Cert students will have to wait just 48 hours after they get their exam results to find out if they have a college place. Up until now, thousands of students have faced the agony of a five-day wait after their results to see if they secured a CAO offer …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 15 February]

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Parents need to learn higher education is not the only measure of success

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Parents need to be challenged over their belief that higher education is the ‘only measure of success’ for school-leavers, the head of a national education body has warned. Nessa White, general secretary of Education and Training Boards Ireland, was responding to the findings of a study which show alarming dropout rates among students in some computing and engineering courses with low CAO entry points …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 15 February]

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CAO points race ‘putting children’s health at risk’ amid fall in fitness levels

Posted in Life, Teaching on February 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The long-term health of teenagers is being put at risk by the race for CAO points, according to health and fitness expert Professor Niall Moyna. His warning comes as a new study shows a sharp fall in fitness levels among second-level pupils, particularly girls, after the age of 15 …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 11 February]

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College entry applications edge up on last year

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 2nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Applications for college entry are up slightly on this time last year. The CAO received 73,157 applications when the main deadline passed yesterday. The final tally will likely be higher as there is a facility for late applications, and normally a few thousand more come in …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 2 February]

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CAO applications rise to over 73,000 for higher education courses

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The number of CAO applications this year has increased slightly with more than 73,000 people applying for a place in higher education. The modest increase of just over 400 applications, or 0.6%, reverses last year’s trend when the total number of applications fell by 5%. This was due mainly due a decline in mature applicants …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 1 February]

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Senator thinks students should get CAO points for ‘civic activities’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 19th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A Senator believes school students’ ‘civic activities’ should be included in the CAO Points System. Fine Gael Senator Joe O’Reilly thinks 80 points should be set aside for the personal development of students …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 18 January]

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Rise in Leaving Cert numbers set to drive up CAO applications

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A rise in Leaving Cert student numbers this year could drive up points for college entry on popular courses. It will be some months before the final candidate figures are available, but it is understood an increase of 3%, or slightly more, is on the cards. It is the first significant increase in Leaving Cert exam candidates in many years and expected to translate into more CAO applications …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 16 January]

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CAO countdown: Industries facing skills shortages battle to attract school-leavers

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Industries facing acute skills shortages, such as the tech and construction sectors, are battling to attract school-leavers in the run up to this month’s CAO closing date. Up to 70,000 young people are selecting their courses and career choices, with most set to apply before the closing date for discounted application fees (€30) which expires this Sunday …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 14 January]

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Revised timeline for college offers still not approved by CAO

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 18th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Third-level colleges have not yet agreed a shortened timeline for offering places to Leaving Certificate students, seven weeks after it was hastily announced by two Government ministers. Education Minister Joe McHugh and Higher Education Minister of State Mary Mitchell O’Connor said on November 1 that the State Examinations Commission (SEC) would get exam results out a day earlier than usual next August …” (more)

[Niall Murray,, 18 December]

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‘With colleges at saturation point, apprenticeships are attractive again’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 5th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“With almost 47,000 CAO acceptances this year, most of them from the Leaving Cert class of 2018, school-leaver college entry rates are pretty much at saturation level. Many of those who did not go straight to higher education started on a post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) course and will use that as a stepping stone …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 4 December]

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Irish Times view on the latest feeder school tables: making progress, must do better

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 4th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The latest feeder school tables, charting progression from second to third-level colleges, underline the educational challenges faced by both society and Government. At a societal level the aspiration of families to support their children in securing appropriate post second level education has never been higher, as demonstrated by the fact that close to 70% of school leavers now access third level through the CAO …” (more)

[Irish Times, 4 November]

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The 50 non-private schools that send 100% of pupils to third-level

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 4th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The huge surge in college progression rates nationally has seen many schools in different parts of the country achieve 100% progression rates. Feeder Schools: Click here for the full breakdown of where Leaving Cert pupils have gone to college over the past 10 years …” (more)

[Independent, 4 December]

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Class gap exposed in third-level progression figures

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 4th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Click here to download the full 2018 Feeder School tables. Students from the most affluent parts of Dublin are up to 14 times more likely to progress to university than their counterparts from some schools in the city’s most disadvantaged areas, the annual Irish Times ‘Feeder Schools’ supplement shows …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Peter McGuire and Éanna Ó Caollaí, Irish Times, 4 November]

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