Shake-up of grading system aims to take pressure off students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The State exams enter a new era today with a shake-up in the grading system for Leaving Cert candidates and a shorter, new-style written English paper in the Junior Cert. The new Leaving Cert grading scheme replaces the traditional ABC system as part of wider efforts to take unnecessary heat out of the CAO points race …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 7 June]

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The leaving cert is absurb and unfair but we are obsessed with it

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Leaving Cert starts today and the ensuing media circus that goes with it is in full swing. But why are we still putting faith in this absurd, unfair test? Is the leaving cert and points system the best selection mechanism for higher education? …” (more)

[Aine McMahon, Irish Times, 7 June]

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Leaving Cert: Record number taking higher-level subjects

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 6th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The number of Leaving Cert students taking on higher-level subjects has climbed to a record high as pupils try to make the most from changes to the CAO points system. Reforms aimed at easing some of the exam pressure mean that any student who fails an exam with an E grade at higher level will secure CAO points for the first time …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 6 June]

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Irish universities U-turn on previously rejected A-levels

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Republic of Ireland’s universities will accept results of four Northern Irish A-level subjects they had previously rejected. The change will come into effect for students starting in September 2018.The subjects are Software Systems Development, Moving Image Arts, Digital Technology and Environmental Technology …” (more)

[Robbie Meredith, BBC News, 26 May]

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Brexit could lead to increase in CAO points for Irish students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Brexit could lead to increases in CAO points if thousands of Irish students who study in the UK opt to remain at home, a university president has warned. Dublin City University president Brian MacCraith said up to 12,000 Irish students currently study in universities across the UK …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 21 March]

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Bonus points lure one-third of pupils to higher maths

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 20th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“About one in three Leaving Cert students has applied to sit higher-level maths this year, many lured by the prospect of earning 25 CAO bonus points. Interest among sixth years in the ‘honours’ paper is similar to what it was at the same stage in 2016 and 2015, suggesting that uptake is stabilising …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 20 March]

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It’s time for the NUI to drop the third language requirement

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A new grading system and new CAO common points scale will be used for the first time in this year’s Leaving Certificate exams. The old ABC-style grades, 14 each at higher and ordinary level, have been abolished in favour of eight H (higher) and eight O (ordinary) grades. The change to the grading system is also bringing change to the CAO points scale …” (more)

[Billy Ryle, Independent, 16 March]

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Ditching a language will restrict college choices

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Choosing subjects for the Leaving Cert can be a difficult task for students and their parents. Concern stems from a need to ensure students do not rule themselves out of college courses they may wish to be considered for in the future …” (more)

[Aoife Walsh, Independent, 16 March]

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Demand for engineering courses drops despite skills shortage

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 9th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The number of students seeking college places in engineering and technology has fallen this year despite high-profile attempts to tackle a skills crisis facing the sector. Overall, college applicants are being drawn towards third-level courses linked to most areas of the growing economy, with increases in demand for architecture, construction, law and business-related courses …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 9 March]

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Irish colleges reject NI A-Level subjects

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Republic of Ireland’s seven main universities in the will not accept results in four A-Levels taken by students in Northern Ireland this year. The affected subjects are Software Systems Development, Moving Image Arts, Digital Technology and Environmental Technology …” (more)

[Robbie Meredith, BBC News, 2 March]

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CAO applications on course to match last year’s record high

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The number of college applicants this year is on course to match last year’s record high, new figures show. Latest figures show 76,213 applicants had registered with the CAO by Wednesday evening’s deadline …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 1 February]

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Research shows that parents really do get what they pay for

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 30th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“All parents want what is best for their child, but will often ask if it is worth sending their son or daughter to a fee-paying school. For some, it is not an option as not everyone has the financial means to meet the associated costs. Those who do must weigh up these costs with the perceived benefits of sending children to fee-paying schools …” (more)

[Wayne O’Connor, Independent, 30 January]

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Parents urged to drop college fixation and ‘snobbery’ over apprenticeships

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 29th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Irish parents need to ‘get real’ and ‘lose their fixation in insisting that their child has to go to college as a badge of honour’ according to the head of the representative body for Education and Training Boards …” (more)

[Gavin McLoughlin, Independent, 29 January]

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Revealed: The new No 1 secondary school in the country

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 29th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Fee-paying schools continue to dominate when it comes to sending students to third level colleges, the Sunday Independent school league tables reveal. Out of more than 700 schools analysed nationwide, just six have maintained a 100% record in sending students on to higher education over an eight year period, the new figures reveal …” (more)

[Wayne O’Connor, Independent, 28 January]

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‘Ambitious, capable’ young must consider apprenticeships

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Parents need to encourage their children to consider apprenticeships if Ireland is to build up a successful German-style training system for school-leavers, Minister for Education Richard Bruton has said. The number of people taking on apprenticeships plummeted during the recession, falling from about 29,000 to just over 5,700 in 2013 …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 27 January]

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Third Level Participation

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 21st, 2017 by steve

IrelandTommy Broughan (Dublin Bay North, Independent): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the steps he is taking to address the inequalities seen in the league tables of students’ accession to universities; and if he will make a statement on the matter …”(more)

[Dáil written answers, 18 January]

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New Grading System Won’t Change Old Leaving Certificate

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“As the new term begins, and whispers of mock exams and CAO deadlines surface menacingly, this year’s Leaving Certificate examinations are making their approach known, with the overwhelming majority of Trinity students full of both fond and painful memories of the ordeal they represent …” (more)

[University Times, 15 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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