Points System Reform

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Catherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his views on recent proposals (details supplied) to grant CAO points for students’ civic activity; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 11 June]

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CAO points race is distorting the true meaning of education

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

Ireland“With this year’s State examinations almost upon us, and a review of the senior cycle underway, it is perhaps timely to consider how that review should proceed. The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) represents second level teachers as well as teachers in further and adult education and third level lecturers …” (more)

[Seamus Lahart, Irish Times, 3 June]

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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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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)

[TheJournal.ie, 25 February]

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The Leaving Cert, signalling and third level non-completion rates

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

Ireland“The fact that completion rates in university and IoT courses are closely correlated with CAO points has been known for some time. However, the fact that this is still newsworthy is interesting and probably has to do with the prevailing narrative, a narrative in which the Leaving Cert is deemed to be unfit for purpose and inadequate as a preparation for the rigours of 21st century higher education …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 14 February]

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Some third-level computing courses have 80% drop-out rate

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

Ireland“A majority of students are dropping out of third-level computing and engineering courses with low CAO entry points, official figures show. These high non-completion rates are a source of ‘huge concern’ to education authorities, according to a major new study. The findings are contained in a study by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) which has tracked a cohort of more than 34,000 students who started third-level courses in 2007/08 over a 10-year period …” (more)

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

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Leaving Cert grades linked to finishing college

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

Ireland“Students with higher Leaving grades and CAO points are significantly more likely to complete higher education than those with lower grades, according to a new report from the Higher Education Authority. The study, which tracked 34,059 full-time undergraduate students who entered Irish universities, institutes of technology and colleges in 2007 across ten years, found that the lowest completion rates were in computing courses, where 45% of students dropped out …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Examiner, 14 February]

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Is it too easy to get into some third-level college courses?

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

Ireland“Are we setting the bar too low for entry into some of our higher education courses? It’s a question begged by the findings of a major study by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) into the volume of students who are failing to complete third-level courses. The good news is that, overall, most students (76%) are completing their courses in higher education. …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 14 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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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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The Leaving Cert and the Premier League

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 17th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“One of the purported aims of the new Leaving Cert grading and points-awarding system (in the news today) was to ‘take the heat out of the CAO system’. The argument was that by having fewer grade bands, students would be under less pressure to scramble for every point to get to the next grade and earn more points …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 17 January]

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Grade reforms push ‘ill-equipped’ students to take higher-level exams

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 17th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Reforms which reward those who sit higher level exams are pressurising struggling students into taking on more challenging exam papers, according to new research. The ESRI study into the impact of grading reforms introduced in 2017 finds there is also evidence of growing inequality, with students in disadvantaged schools less likely to take up higher level subjects compared with students in better-off areas …” (more)

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

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Grading changes risk further alienating less academic pupils

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 17th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A new grading system introduced two years ago was supposed to ease pressure on Leaving Cert students and take some of the heat out of the points race. However, a new study by the ESRI finds that, for some students, it has had the opposite effect …” (more)

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

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Research shows some increase in number of students taking higher level subjects

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 17th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD announced today that the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has published research on the early impacts of the revised grading scheme for Leaving Certificate examinations which was introduced in June 2017 …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 17 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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Leaving Cert bonus points proposed in sweeping reforms

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 6th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sweeping changes to the Leaving Cert, including bonus points for more subjects and a system of continuous assessment of students, are proposed in a report from the Oireachtas Education Committee. The all-party committee says students who do more than one foreign language should get extra points, and there should also be a points reward for taking certain subjects at higher level …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 6 November]

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End CAO points race to ease pupils’ anxiety, says school principal president

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 19th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“It may be time to sever the link between the Leaving Cert and entry to university due to the ‘huge’ rate of anxiety among students, school leaders have warned. Mary Keane, president of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals, said the extent of stress-related illnesses among students was a source of major concern …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 19 October]

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Student whose Leaving Cert results were wrongly totted up takes High Court action

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on September 11th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“An 18-year-old Co Wexford student, whose Leaving Cert marks were wrongly totted up by an examiner, could lose her chance of a place in a college veterinary medicine course, the High court has been told …” (more)

[Ray Managh, Irish Times, 11 September]

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Housing crisis may have lead to drop in CAO points

Posted in Governance and administration on August 30th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“It is believed a drop in points for college courses in round two of the CAO offers may be down to the housing crisis. Points have fallen for almost 50 courses in Trinity, DIT, UCC and UCD, with both Trinity and UCD seeing points go down in more than 20 courses, while UCC offered 16 courses on lower points and DIT offered 12 …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 30 August]

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CAO 2018: Points may have dropped due to housing crisis

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 29th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The difficulties facing students trying to source accommodation in Dublin may be behind a significant drop in points for courses at some of the country’s biggest third-level institutions in the second round of CAO offers. Overall, more than 2,300 students have been offered courses in the second round following a reduction in points requirements …” (more, detail of round 2 offers)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 29 August]

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