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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Surge in Leaving Cert students appealing grades

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 30th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The number of Leaving Cert students seeking rechecks of their marks has surged by 75%, prompting the State Examinations Commission to reassure those appealing that it plans to issue their results on time. More than 9,000 students – or 16% of all candidates – appealed some 17,000 Leaving Cert grades this year, the highest number on record …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 30 August]

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Major drop in points for top courses on CAO second round

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

Ireland“The second round of college offers brought good news for 2,513 CAO applicants, with many receiving a place on their top-choice course. No new offers were made for the majority of courses, but there was plenty to celebrate with significant points drops on some hotly contested programmes. Among the Level 8 (honours degree) disciplines with the most new offers were arts (219), health (239), social and behavioural sciences (169), business (159), engineering (145) and nursing (132) …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 29 August]

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UCD SU say competition for college places at ‘alarming level’ as points exceed 600

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

Ireland“UCD students’ union has claimed the competition for higher education has now reached an ‘alarming level’ as entry requirements for a course at the university exceeded 600 points for the first time ever. The minimum entry requirements for economics and finance at University College Dublin (UCD) surpassed 600 points, attracting a cut-off of 601 points …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 16 August]

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CAO 2019: Seven take-aways from this year’s college offers

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

Ireland“About 50,000 applicants received an offer of a college place from the Central Applications Office (CAO) on Thursday afternoon. Here are some of the big trends from this year’s figures. 1. Brexit uncertainty. Uncertainty generated by Brexit seems to have resulted in a significant drop in the points requirements for most courses in the agricultural and food sectors …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 15 August]

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Universities can’t guarantee a place this year if student upgraded on appeal

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

Ireland“Universities are not giving any blanket guarantee that students who appeal their exam grades and get a late CAO offer in September are assured a place this year. Colleges say that, depending on the course, they may not be able to accommodate the student in 2019/20 and will ask them to defer for a year …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 16 August]

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Students follow the money for science and tech careers

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

Ireland“Universities handed out a record number of CAO round one offers to meet the growing demand from school-leavers chasing jobs in the economy. They opened more places in courses leading to careers in areas such as Stem and second-level teaching where employers are crying out for graduates …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 16 August]

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CAO Points breakdown: Finance course breaks 600 points barrier

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

Ireland

“For so many students, so much hinges on a mix of chance and the choices of tens of thousands of their peers. This year, 51,513 students received an offer in round one but, for many, CAO points rises – particularly for science, technology, maths and engineering courses – will mean it’s not the course they had hoped for …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 15 August]

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CAO 2019: Points jump for science, technology and engineering

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

Ireland“Points for degrees in science, technology, maths and engineering have jumped as students flock towards courses with strong job prospects. Overall, the number of courses commanding in excess of 500 CAO points has climbed to a new high …” (more)

[CAO round one offers here]
[Carl O’Brien, Peter McGuire and Éanna Ó Caollaí, Irish Times, 15 August]

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