New CAO points system: what students and parents need to know

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 27th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Are you hoping that your child will get an A or B in next year’s Leaving Cert? Well, forget about it: they haven’t a hope. From 2017, the old familiar grading system – As, Bs, Cs and so on – is gone. In its place is a new grading system, with higher-level grades from H1 to H8 and ordinary grades from O1 to O8 …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 27 September]

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University entry, essays and aptitude tests

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 12th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Dr David Doran (August 26th) rightly condemns the health professions admission test (HPAT) for entry to medicine as unproven, unreliable, unfair and absurd, and suggests that an egalitarian and fair alternative should be sought …” (more)

[John McAvoy, Irish Times, 12 September]

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Are universities inflating points?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 29th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The basic argument is this: (i) universities cynically restrict their intake to courses, (ii) the CAO is a supply and demand system, (iii) points go up, (iv) prestige of institution is enhanced. But it’s wrong …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 29 August]

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Reforming the Leaving Certificate

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on August 29th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A chara, – Clive Byrne draws an important distinction between ‘being educated’ and ‘getting an examination grade’ (‘Leaving Cert reform should focus on “real world” skills’, Opinion & Analysis, August 26th). Since the meanings of such examination grades have not been defined in terms of student learning outcomes, it is hardly surprising that students see them in terms of CAO points’ values …” (more)

[Jim Gleeson, Irish Times, 29 August]

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Colleges creating ‘elite courses with small numbers’ says Limerick principal

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 27th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Increased demand for courses is ‘reflective of the ongoing recovery of the economy’, according to local third level institutions, in light of the CAO figures this week. A significant increase in demand for programmes relating to environment, science, technology and business were seen at University of Limerick and Limerick Institute of Technology …” (more)

[Fintan Walsh, Limerick Leader, 26 August]

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Failure rate in maths indicates distorted education policy

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 25th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Conflicting policies within Government are causing distortions in the higher education access process, adding complexity and even confusion to a system that should be quite straightforward …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 24 August]

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Medical school entry and the HPAT test

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 24th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – As CAO points for undergraduate medical school entry drop further again this year, some may suggest that this may be the first positive impact of the HPAT aptitude test introduced seven years ago …” (more)

[Dara Kilmartin, Irish Times, 24 August]

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More myths about the CAO and the Leaving Cert

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 22nd, 2016 by steve

IrelandMyth 1: School-leavers are attracted to high point courses because of the prestige factor. Why this is a myth (I think!) My experience of talking to pupils at careers fairs over the years is that the opposite is the case …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 22 August]

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CAO cynicism

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 22nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“It’s that time of the year when the Central Applications Office (CAO) makes offers of third level places to Ireland’s school-leavers. Places are allocated on the basis of a complex but transparent system of supply (of courses by third level institutions), demand (for courses by school leavers), and grades (obtained by school leavers in the second level terminal examination, the Leaving Certificate) …” (more)

[Eoin O’Dell, Cearta, 22 August]

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CAO offers: Sharp points rise for courses linked to recovery

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 22nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Engineering, architecture, construction and business up as arts falls to new low. Thousands of school-leavers who hope to study architecture, engineering, construction and business face sharp points increases following a surge in applications for courses linked to the economic recovery …” (more)

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

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Download: 2016 CAO points for all college offers

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 22nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Tens of thousands of prospective students who applied for third-level courses can now check to see whether they have secured their first choice after offers through the Central Applications Office (CAO) were made accessible at 6am …” (more, download)

[Irish Times, 22 August]

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Stem steams ahead as students abandon the arts ship

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 22nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Students have been bombarded with calls to study science, technology, engineering and maths (known collectively as Stem) over the past few years. The message seems to be working, as points for those courses have risen across the board for the first round of CAO offers …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 22 August]

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Number of high points courses reaches record high

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 22nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The number of degree courses requiring 500 points or more has jumped to a record high in this year’s Central Applications Office (CAO) listings. This is despite pledges by universities to help dampen the points race by broaden entry routes into college courses …” (more)

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

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Drop in top Leaving Cert scores may limit points race

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 20th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A slight drop in the number of students with top Leaving Certificate points scores could limit point rises in a number of high-calibre college courses. More than 70,000 students are hoping to get one of around 52,000 college offers being made by the Central Applications Office (CAO) on Monday, including more than 47,000 applicants who got their exam results on Wednesday …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 20 August]

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Everyone is heading off to college – but is it worth it?

Posted in Governance and administration on August 20th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Early on Wednesday morning, at second-level schools across the country, tens of thousands of students opened their Leaving Cert results with whoops of joy or tears of despair. Forty years ago, most eager young teenagers finishing school would have started looking for a job and they would have considered themselves well qualified …” (more)

[Kim Bielenberg, Independent, 20 August]

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CAO offers should come on same day as results, say principals

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 18th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The Leaving Certificate results and CAO offers should be released on the same day to reduce unnecessary stress and to give greater certainty to students, according to second-level principals …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 18 August]

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Leaving Cert: More than 4,000 pupils fail maths

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 17th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“More than 4,000 students have failed their Leaving Cert maths exams, effectively locking them out of many third-level courses which require a pass as a basic entry requirement.Grades in the higher level maths paper have stabilised with more than 70% securing an honour, but the failure rate …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 17 August]

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Teachers alarmed at lack of notice of grade reform in Leaving Cert

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 17th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Guidance counsellors have expressed concern about changes to entry requirements for college courses that leave incoming sixth years facing the challenge of achieving higher grades in some subjects …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 17 August]

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Record college application numbers driving likely points rise

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 16th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The number of college applicants has reached the highest level on record this year, with points increases likely for a range of third-level courses. A record 80,880 people have applied to the Central Applications Office (CAO), with many flocking to courses linked to the economic recovery, such as architecture, engineering and technology …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 16 August]

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School-leavers will have to aim higher under new grades

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 16th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Next year’s Leaving Cert classes are facing some major changes in terms of the results they will need to get into college. Students will have to achieve higher marks in key subjects in order to be considered for certain college courses – although in others the minimum grade required will drop …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 16 August]

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