Third level and dropping out

Posted in Life on March 31st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Statistics this year show that just over half of students completed their courses in computer science and engineering (Carl O’Brien, ‘Is our obsession with degrees failing students?’, Analysis, Education, March 29th). Reasons for dropping out from college include financial, health, family or changing course. Away from the firm structure of secondary education, new independent learning can become problematic for some students at third level …” (more)

[Kevin McLoughlin, Irish Times, 31 March]

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Third Level Education – Funding

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on March 27th, 2021 by steve

IrelandRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if funding is available for students wishing to continue to third-level education abroad in September 2021 given the likely rise in CAO points requirements for domestic courses; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 24 March]

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Third Level Admissions

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 27th, 2021 by steve

IrelandGerald Nash (Louth, Labour): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his views on the approximately 20,000 college applicants who applied for courses in 2021 on the basis of leaving certificate results achieved in previous years and who consequently may have been disadvantaged with respect to CAO points required for entry to their given courses due to disproportionate grade inflation relative to other years; if he is making provisions for those students who may have been denied a placement under such circumstances; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 24 March]

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Harris asks officials for plans to build more college-owned accommodation

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on March 21st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Simon Harris plans on ‘overhauling’ the CAO, looking at alternatives to the Leaving Cert in future years and wants to build more ‘college-owned’ student accommodation. This morning, the Minister for Further and Higher Education appeared on youth radio station SPIN1038, speaking about his plans for the future of higher education in Ireland …” (more)

[Shannon Connolly, Trinity News, 20 March]

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80pc of Leaving Cert students signed up for accredited grades or to sit exams with 24 hours to go

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 16th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Four in five Leaving Cert candidates have registered to receive accredited grades and/or sit the June exams, with 24 hours left to the deadline. All students entered for Leaving Cert 2021 have been asked register on the Candidate Self Service Portal (CSSP) on gov.ie/LeavingCertificate before 6pm on Tuesday March 16 …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 15 March]

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Will grade inflation affect my hopes of securing a course in the UK or Ireland?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 16th, 2021 by steve

IrelandWe live in Donegal and my daughter has applied for college places through Ucas and the CAO. Given recent changes in the UK and Ireland regarding how students will receive their grades in 2021, will this affect entry requirements? Firstly, let’s be clear on how students will be assessed and graded in both jurisdictions …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 16 March]

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Minister loses appeals over home-schooled Leaving Cert students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on March 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education has lost her appeals over findings two home-schooled students were unfairly and unlawfully excluded from the Leaving Certificate calculated grades process. In a 127-page judgment on Tuesday, the three judge Court of Appeal (COA), comprising Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly, Ms Justice Mary Faherty and Ms Justice Una Ní Raifeartaigh dismissed the appeals concerning High Court findings in separate cases by the two students …” (more)

[Mary Carolan, Irish Times, 9 March]

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Leaving Cert: Grade inflation needs to be addressed as a priority

Posted in Governance and administration on March 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Fighting Covid-19 has forced many previously unthinkable changes to life as we knew it. In doing so, it has done one significant service by exposing some of the vulnerabilities and inadequacies of the Leaving Certificate. It is an exam that provokes an annual media frenzy around grades and entry to third level, almost as if there is no other purpose to the exercise …” (more)

[Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Irish Times, 9 March]

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Covid effect: CAO points race pressure as college demand surges

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Huge increases in demand across a range of study areas will drive up CAO points for many college courses. A ‘Covid effect’ is visible in the massive interest in medicine and other health sciences at the heart of the battle against the coronavirus …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 9 March]

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CAO applications rise by 6,203 on last year, to 79,176

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Science and environmental studies continue to draw increasing interest from prospective third-level students, according to the latest round of Central Applications Office (CAO) data. First-preference applications for environment courses rose by 70% in 2021. Although there were a relatively small number of candidates, it was the largest percentage rise among CAO subjects …” (more)

[Mark Hilliard, Irish Times, 9 March]

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Revamp of CAO system published

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The way in which students apply for third-level education is to be overhauled to include a connected system for a wider range of further education options and apprenticeships. The new process has been announced as part of the publication of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science’s three-year plan …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 8 March]

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More people opting for business degrees as their first choice

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“On average, one in every six applicants to the CAO seeking a college place in a level 8 higher degree lists a business degree programme as their first choice, second only in popularity to arts. There is even greater demand at ordinary degree and higher cert levels, where the numbers seeking a business qualification rises to one in three applicants …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 9 March]

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Brexit fuels surge in overseas demand for college places here as points to rise

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Brexit has fuelled the huge leap in demand for college places this year, and is likely to contribute to driving up the points for some courses. Almost half the extra 6,268 CAO applications are from students living outside the Republic …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 8 March]

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New CAO system aims to broaden choice for students

Posted in Governance and administration on March 7th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A wide-ranging shake-up of the college entry system will see the Central Applications Office (CAO) reformed into a new connected structure, incorporating for the first time apprenticeships and further education …” (more)

[Wayne O’Connor, Independent, 7 March]

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Sherry v The Minister for Education and Skills and others [2021] IEHC 128 (2 March 2021)

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on March 3rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The fight to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus has involved the imposition by the State of restrictions on almost every aspect of our lives. The young, the old, those with disabilities, and those without have all been affected, some to a greater degree than others. To halt the spread of the virus, it is necessary to limit, if not restrict entirely, the circumstances under which people meet and congregate. In excess of 62,000 students were due to sit the Leaving Certificate in 2020 …” (more)

Sherry v The Minister for Education and Skills and Others (Approved) [2021] IEHC 128 (2 March 2021)

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Calculated grades will be seen as a success even if individual students feel hard done by

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on March 3rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The official reaction from the Minister for Education Norma Foley was muted. ‘The Minister for Education has received the judgment of Mr Justice Meenan given today in the case taken by a student in relation to the calculated grades system for Leaving Certificate 2020 and notes its content’ …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 2 March]

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Leaving Cert: High Court to rule on challenge to 2020 calculated grades process

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 1st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A High Court judge will rule on Tuesday on the lead challenge over the calculated grades process adopted for the Leaving Certificate 2020 exam in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr Justice Charles Meenan heard the lead action by Freddie Sherry, who was a 2020 Leaving Cert student at Belvedere College, Dublin, over some five weeks before the case concluded in early February …” (more)

[Mary Carolan, Irish Times, 1 March]

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Grades and high-performing schools

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 26th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I refer to the article ‘Leaving Cert – removing school data risked penalising some students’ (News, February 22nd). In light of the contents of this article and having reviewed the arrangements for the upcoming Leaving Cert, I am extremely concerned about the fairness of the Leaving Cert accredited grade process for 2021 …” (more)

[Harry Deacon, Irish Times, 26 February]

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Leaving Cert mock exams not allowed for accredited grades process, schools told

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 24th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Schools will be told they cannot not use the results of mock exams as a basis for estimating marks for Leaving Cert students under the accredited grades process. The ‘mocks’ are a familiar part of the run-up to the June exams and most schools hold them, usually the January and February of sixth year …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 24 February]

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Leaving Cert: Removing school data risked penalising some students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on February 22nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Government was warned some students risked being ‘thrown under the bus’ due to its decision to remove school performance data from the calculated grades system used in last year’s Leaving Certificate. The comment is contained in internal Department of Education records, seen by The Irish Times, which throw fresh light over a decision to omit ‘school profiling’ from the calculated grades process …” (more)

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

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