Are parents to blame for the lack of women in Stem?

Posted in Life on January 31st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Blame the parents. They may want the best for their children, but many end up directing them away from certain areas of study based on outdated notions of ‘acceptable’ careers. A major Government-commissioned report into the shortage of female graduates in Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) found that parents are heavily influencing their daughters’ career choices in particular …” (more)

[Nora-Ide McAuliffe, Irish Times, 31 January]

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Education journalism and entry to college

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on January 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“It won’t make me popular to say this but we have a problem with education journalism in this country. This morning there have been two articles, one in the Irish Times and one in the Examiner in which Philip Nolan, president of University of Maynooth, is given free rein to continue his campaign to make general entry the normal mode of entry to third level education …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 11 January]

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Third-level courses should be radically overhauled, says university president

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Traditional third-level courses should be radically overhauled to allow students choose whether to specialise early or pursue a much broader range of study, according a university president. Philip Nolan, president of Maynooth University, said a majority of its students are opting to study a wide range of subjects under recent changes to its undergraduate programmes …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 11 January]

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University course flexibility ‘working’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A university which has reduced the number of specialised entry courses says the positive response shows it has been a good move for students. Maynooth University (MU) offers arts students a wider choice of subjects in first year, rather than restricting themselves to very specific paths in their Central Applications Office (CAO) forms …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 11 January]

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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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Just because everyone else seems to be going is not a reason to attend college

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

Ireland“A new study has found that one in three Leaving Cert students targeting 550 CAO points when they returned to school last September didn’t know what college course they wanted to study …” (more)

[Lorraine Courtney, Independent, 17 August]


Colleges are fuelling the points race, warns university president

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 15th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Third-level colleges have not done enough to take the heat out of the CAO points race, according to a university president. Professor Philip Nolan says school-leavers still face too confusing a choice of CAO courses, despite a pledge to simplify the process …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 15 August]

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Time for colleges to slow down points race

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 15th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“There are far too many college courses on offer through the Central Applications Office. And it can often be hard to distinguish between them. How many of us could tell the difference between computer and communications engineering, computer engineering in mobile systems, and computer applications? Yet we expect school-leavers to know when they fill in their CAO form …” (more)

[Independent, 15 August]

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More subjects may get bonus CAO points

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 15th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert students could receive bonus points for subjects relevant to the courses they are applying for under new proposals being drawn up.The introduction of 25 bonus points for higher level maths paper since 2012 has led to a dramatic increase in the numbers taking the subject. But there is some concern it has distorted subject choice among students …” (more)

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

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Fewer courses a boon for Maynooth

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 15th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Maynooth University claims that having fewer entry courses for Leaving Certificate students is the reason for its increase in popularity this year. A limited number of courses, rather than very specialised degrees at third-level, was proposed by experts in 2011 to ease the intensive ‘points-race’ for school-leavers, which has a major influence on teaching at second-level …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 15 August]

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Colleges criticised for using small-intake courses to drive up CAO points

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 15th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Many colleges are still manipulating the CAO system by offering courses with very few student places in order to drive up the points requirements for them, a university president has warned. Colleges have been criticised in the past for creating these high-points courses in the belief they add to the prestige of the institutions …” (more)

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

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Would we be Better Off Specialising as Graduates?

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

Ireland“For every Irish student, the CAO represents a confusing and mildly terrifying set of choices, determining the rest of your life. ‘What’s your first choice?’ was the refrain of sixth year as we all struggled to fit our futures into a ten-point list. Some of us based it on course preference, others on college, some on what they thought was a realistic estimate of their Leaving Cert results …” (more)

[Aisling Curtis, University Times, 26 April]

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Why are girls not choosing IT courses at third-level?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 2nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“With fears that we won’t be able to fill tech vacancies unless more women start studying engineering and IT, Áilín Quinlan went to a girls’ school to ask young girls why they aren’t putting these courses on their CAO forms? …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 2 February]

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Wrong course choice by half of drop-outs

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 25th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Half of students who drop out of their college course do so because they have made the wrong choice. A lack of career guidance in school and general pressures on students in sixth year have been highlighted as among the main reasons for picking the wrong third-level course … ” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 25 August]

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Demand for engineering and technology degrees grows

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 11th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“College applicants are opting in greater numbers for engineering and technology degrees but science courses are waning in popularity, latest figures show. The Central Applications Office (CAO) has received lists of preferred honours bachelor (level 8) degree choices from 70,006 Leaving Certificate candidates, mature students, and others for the coming academic year — 4% more than this time last year …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 11 July]

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Colleges fail to cut course numbers

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 18th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan is satisfied with third-level colleges’ changes to entry systems, despite most having failed so far to significantly reduce course numbers from which Leaving Certificate students can choose …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 18 March]

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The fallacy of broad course choices at third level

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 12th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“A few years ago the then Minister, Ruari Quinn, got it into his head that there were too many programmes within the CAO system. The basic idea was that institutions were deliberately manipulating the supply-and-demand nature of the system to create seemingly high prestige courses …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 12 March]

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Universities should offer broader course choices for students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 12th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The Government has established an expert group, chaired by Peter Cassells, which is ‘to identify and consider the issues relating to the long-term sustainable funding of higher education in Ireland and to identify options for change’ …” (more)

[Frances Ruane, Irish Times, 12 March]

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Reforms for Broader-entry Degrees as IUA Pressure

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 12th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin is under increasing pressure from the Irish Universities Association (IUA) to reduce its number of course codes, documents from a meeting of Trinity’s University Council indicate …” (more)

[Patrick Lavelle,, 11 March]

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O’Brien calls for closer examination of cuts and impact on CAO choices

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 11th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Following news that 6,000 applicants have registered with the CAO but not indicated preferences for a course, Sinn Féin TD and Education Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien said that there was a clear effect of the cuts to guidance counsellors in schools in recent years …” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 11 March]

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