Oral and practical sections of Leaving

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 21st, 2020 by steve

“Sir, – The decision by the Department of Education to award full marks for oral and practical components of Leaving Certificate examinations is ill-judged at least and reckless at most …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 21 March]

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Further education courses boost students’ chances of graduating from third level

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 11th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Students who first complete further education courses are significantly more likely to graduate from third-level degree courses, new research suggests. Solas, the umbrella body for the further education sector, says the latest data shows that up to 75% of students with a foundation in a Post-Leaving Cert (PLC) course who move on to higher education complete their degree …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 11 March]

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Increase in CAO applications for science and environment courses

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 11th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Thousands of school-leavers are choosing careers in science and the environment this year, according to the latest Central Applications Office (CAO) application trends. These figures back-up reports of a surge in interest among Leaving Cert students in careers linked to tackling climate change and promoting sustainability …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 10 March]

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CAO receives almost 73,000 third-level applications

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Almost 73,000 applications for third-level courses were received by the CAO (Central Applications Office) by its 1 February closing date, a figure that is on a par with last year’s data. The number of students applying to study nursing or midwifery has declined this year by 8%, while numbers wishing to train as second-level teachers has risen by 10% …” (more)

[Emma O Kelly, RTÉ News, 10 March]

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CAO applications show drop in languages, arts and agriculture

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A total of 72,973 applications were received by the Central Applications Office (CAO) by the due date of 1 February this year, a decrease of 61 on last year. Of this number, 7,273 applications came from students who were over 23 years of age – down 560 (-7.1%) applications from last year …” (more)

[The Journal.ie, 10 March]

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CAO may be expanded to include further education courses

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 9th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A new CAO system that would allow school leavers to apply for both university and further education courses is under consideration by the Department of Education. The proposal is contained in a draft departmental consultation paper, seen by The Irish Times, which acknowledges criticism that too many students are choosing higher education over options such as apprenticeships and further education courses …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 9 March]

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Snobbery at the heart of two-tier education system for school-leavers

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 9th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“It’s CAO season and tens of thousands of school-leavers are choosing their higher education courses. Chances are that most will never stop to think about apprenticeships, traineeships or post-Leaving Cert courses as options. That’s partly because they don’t feature in the CAO system, which is operated by universities and institutes of technology …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 9 March]

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Study into impact of bonus for Irish on CAO points questions fairness

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“An unpublished study on the impact of bonus points for students who answer the Leaving Cert through Irish has questioned the fairness of the measure. Under rules that date back to the mid-1920s, any student who answers a written exam in Irish may receive bonus marks of up to 10%, depending on the subject …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 10 February]

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The two-tier nature of education system

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 28th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The recently published Higher Education Authority (HEA) report on socioeconomic and spatial differences in third-level education (as reported in Carl O’Brien’s article ‘Wealthy students more likely to study high-points courses’, News, October 21st) draws attention to the role that parental income and where you live may play in higher education choices in Ireland. However, a deeper understanding of these relationships is needed …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 28 October]

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Pressure on students

Posted in Teaching on October 28th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I must disagree with the head of examinations and assessment in the State Examination Committee, Tim Desmond, in recommending that ‘the CAO system changes significantly, to move the pressure point from the end of senior cycle to the end of first year in third-level institutions’ …” (more)

[Marion Dunne, Irish Times, 28 October]

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Examinations official criticises ‘relentless pursuit of CAO points’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 24th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The ‘relentless pursuit of CAO points’ is having an extreme influence on how students are engaging with teaching and learning, according to a senior State Examinations Commission official. Tim Desmond, head of examination and assessment, said moves by higher-education institutions to develop more specialised courses is intensifying the points race and inflating the public’s perception of certain courses …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 24 October]

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Wealthy students more likely to study high-points courses – report

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

Ireland“Affluent students are far more likely to study high-points courses in university and earn more within months of graduating than those from less well-off backgrounds, a new study finds. Medicine, dentistry, finance and engineering courses attract the highest proportions of well-off students from the wealthiest parts of the country, according to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) research …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 21 October]

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Rise in honours Maths uptake to attain CAO bonus points ‘has not improved standards’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on October 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Bonus points in Leaving Cert higher-level Maths have not necessarily improved standards in the subject. Student uptake of the ‘honours’ paper has doubled since the bonus of 25 CAO points for a minimum 40% mark was introduced, but it has not been matched by a corresponding improvement in students’ ability in maths …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 11 October]

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Head to Head: Is the CAO a good system for deciding university admissions?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 10th, 2019 by steve

IrelandYES by Manasa Bramhanya: Education can be defined in simple words as the process of acquiring knowledge, skills, values and applying the same for innovation purposes. Education undoubtedly enhances people’s lives and plays a key role in a country’s development …” (more)

[Manasa Bramhanya, University Observer, 10 October]

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Universities told to find spaces for 35 students without college places

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 23rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Government Ministers have intervened to pressurise universities into providing college places for dozens of students who were told in recent days that they could not take up their places until next year. Thirty-five students were told last Thursday there was no college place for them in the current year after they secured places following rechecks and upgrades of their Leaving Cert exam papers, The Irish Times understands …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 22 September]

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Number of late CAO offers more than doubles

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 23rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The number of late CAO offers made to Leaving Cert candidates who were awarded a results upgrade has more than doubled to 594. It follows an almost doubling in applications for exam rechecks after major changes to the appeals process and, in turn, a doubling in the number of successful appeals to 2,916 …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 23 September]

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Almost 3,000 Leaving Cert results upgraded in record year

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 20th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Almost 3,000 Leaving Cert exam results have been upgraded after students successfully sought rechecks of their papers. The record number follows a surge in the number of rechecks this year, due mainly to reforms that have speeded up the appeals process and given students greater access to their exam papers online …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 18 September]

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New Report to Highlight Dramatic Inequalities in Higher Education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 10th, 2019 by steve

IrelandThe Irish Independent reports that the review – described as the most detailed research ever on higher education – focuses on the impact of socioeconomic background on access to higher education, as well as Central Applications Office (CAO) points …” (more)

[Malachi Ó Marcaigh, University Times, 9 September]

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Moving away from points system may not level the playing field

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on September 5th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – In her recent column, Joanna Siewierska, president of UCD students’ union, makes many good points but two points in particular deserve comment (‘Time to change our unfair CAO points system’, Education Opinion, September 3rd) …” (more)

[Greg Foley, Irish Times, 5 September]

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Time to change our unfair CAO points system

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Education is a public good. It’s something that we should all be proud to invest in and ensure that all members of society have an opportunity to benefit from. Enabling broad access to education is undoubtedly the key to reducing inequalities in society, and promoting equality of outcome for our young people and adults …” (more)

[Joanna Siewierska, Irish Times, 3 September]

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