First female president of Royal College of Physicians is set to take office

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“It is time to review the HPAT aptitude test Leaving Certificate students must pass when applying for medicine at third level in Ireland, the president-elect of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland (RCPI) Prof Mary Horgan has said …” (more)

[Patsy McGarry, Irish Times, 16 Ocotber]

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Students with mentors in poorer areas more likely to plan to go to college – study

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

Ireland“Secondary students in poorer areas of Dublin are three times more likely to plan to go to college after being assigned a mentor, according to a new research project. A report by Trinity College Dublin has assessed the impact of an outreach programme for 1,100 students attending 11 schools in the Dublin area over a three-year period …” (more)

[Éanna Ó Caollaí, Irish Times, 9 October]

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Has the HPAT really failed to measure empathy?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 25th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A study from University College Cork has recently been published investigating the link between medical students’ scores on HPAT Section 2 and a questionnaire called the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy. The researchers’ conclusion was that ‘JSE [Jefferson Scale of Empathy] values did not correlate with HPAT-Ireland scores’. Is this something we should be concerned about? …” (more)

[Kevin O’Rourke, Trinity News, 24 September]

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Third Level Admissions Reform: HEAR and DARE

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 19th, 2017 by steve

IrelandClare Daly (Dublin Fingal, Independent): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that some colleges are operating a system of a fixed number of places for mature students, HEAR and DARE applicants collectively (details supplied); his plans to change the system; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 11 September]

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Medical entry exam does measure ‘emotional intelligence’, say operators

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

Ireland“The group behind the Hpat assessment, which is taken by students hoping to pursue a career in medicine, has defended the test’s ability to assess emotional intelligence, saying it successfully examines candidates’ ‘thoughts, feelings and behaviour’. Research published last week by doctors from University College Cork found that Hpat assessment results were not consistent with students’ self-reported empathy levels …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Irish Times, 11 September]

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The HPAT and the Cult of Empathy

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

Ireland“The recent media coverage around the HPAT is interesting for two reasons. Firstly, the idea that you should even attempt to test an 18/19-year old’s character for its suitability for a career in medicine before subjecting them to six years of tough undergraduate study followed by a grueling apprenticeship as a junior doctor, seems daft …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 11 September]

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Study finds HPAT does not accurately measure empathy

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 8th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A new study has shown that the Health Professions Admission Test (HPAT) does not accurately test empathetic or interpersonal skills. The study, which was published in the British Medical Journal Open, assessed empathy levels in 290 undergraduate medical students from University College Cork …” (more)

[Aoife Ní Chadhain, Trinity News, 8 September]

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‘Inaccurate to claim HPAT is not doing its job’ – Body that administers exam

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 8th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Australian body which administers an Irish medical education screening test warned it was inaccurate to claim it was not doing what it was originally designed for. The Australian Council for Education Research (ACER) administers the Health Professions Admissions Test (HPAT) which all Irish prospective medical students must sit alongside their Leaving Cert …” (more)

[Ralph Riegel, Independent, 8 September]

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Empathy levels of doctors ‘not properly tested’ in entry exam

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Empathy levels and emotional intelligence are not being properly assessed under the Health Professions Admission Test (Hpat) which was introduced to make medical school more accessible to aspiring doctors, researchers claim. Doctors from University College Cork (UCC) say results from the Hpat assessment, which is a requirement for students hoping to pursue a career in medicine, were not consistent with students’ self-reported empathy levels …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Irish Times, 4 September]

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‘No evidence HPAT exam is doing what it was designed for’ – study

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 3rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A new study has found no evidence that a test specifically designed to assist Irish people with strong interpersonal skills and empathy to enter the medical profession is doing what it was designed for. The examination, the Health Professions Admissions Test (HPAT), was introduced in 2009 in a bid to widen the entry access to medical courses in Ireland …” (more)

[Ralph Riegel, Independent, 3 September]

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More than 3,000 students set to be offered third-level places by CAO

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 31st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“More than 3,000 students are being offered third-level college places by the Central Applications Office (CAO) today. Points for accounting at CIT have dropped from 319 to 318. The offers are being issued to 3,087 applicants, up from 2,446 at the same stage last year, and can be accepted up to next Wednesday evening …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 31 August]

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New maths entry requirements for teachers to end marking anomaly

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

Ireland“New maths requirements for entry to primary teaching training, due to be announced soon, should end the anomaly that left some high-achieving school-leavers out of the running for a course place this year …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 22 August]

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Government must get serious about CAO reform – Byrne

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

Ireland“Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education and Skills Thomas Byrne TD says the Government needs to place a greater emphasis on reforming the CAO system and broadening entry to third level education …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 21 August]

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Observable trends in jungle of CAO statistics

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

Ireland“Within an overall picture of points generally falling, there are some trends of note within the annual jungle of statistics surrounding the Central Applications Office (CAO) first-round offers. In broad terms, close to two-thirds of honours (level 8) degrees require the same or fewer points than last year. They include more than 420 of the 800, around 53%, of all those that are directly comparable year-on-year …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 21 August]

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Anger as maths ‘anomaly’ means some pupils fail to make CAO grade

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

Ireland“Aspiring primary teachers with high points will be angry over how the new grading system affects their eligibility for entry to their dream courses. An anomaly in the maths requirement for entry to their chosen profession could dash the hopes of Leaving Cert candidates who have achieved at the highest level …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 21 August]

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Grading changes ease points race, but other factors at play

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

Ireland“Nearly 52,400 applicants are being offered a place on at least one course this morning, and the minimum points needed for most courses are the same as, or down on, last year. While the drop in points might be linked to the significant reforms of Leaving Certificate grading and the points system introduced this year, other factors may also be involved …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 21 August]

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CAO trends: Slight recovery for arts as science drops

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

Ireland“It’s been a nervous week for the class of 2017. Students had been warned: the new grading and CAO points means that points from 2016 or previous years are no guide as to what to expect today. Most have chosen to ignore the advice and, over the past week, they’ve still looked to the points scores of 2016 as a guide …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 21 August]

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Points race slows after major changes to grades

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

Ireland“The points race has slowed down dramatically as a record number of students get first round offers from the CAO. More of them are getting one of their top three choices than ever before …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 21 August]

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Leaving Cert and the points race

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A chara, – I must confess to becoming fatigued at your regular conflation of the State Examinations Commission (SEC) and the Central Applications Office (CAO). The SEC administers the Leaving Certificate (still the widest held qualification in Ireland); the CAO administers entry to higher education …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 18 August]

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Bruton urges colleges to help take pressure out of exam points system

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on August 17th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Education Minister Richard Bruton has urged more colleges to take pressure out of the points system by reducing the number of courses from which to choose for students. One element of the college entry reforms kicking in this year is resulting in more Leaving Cert students taking Higher Level exams in most subjects. However, long-running proposals to have fewer but more general entry-level courses, particularly by universities, have only been adopted by some colleges …” (more)

[Niall Murray and Juno McEnroe, Irish Examiner, 17 August]

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