Reforming the Leaving Certificate

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on November 19th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Once again we appear to be going through the annual hand wringing exercise about the Leaving Cert (Letters, November 17th). This time however it may be preferable to consider the lessons of the pandemic, and avoid a clamour for solutions that increase rather than decrease the level of unfairness we subject second-level students to …” (more)

[Albert Winston, Irish Times, 19 November]

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Leaving Cert reform envisages ‘curriculum for all’ recognising broader student skills

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

Ireland“If you’re a student, parent or employer seeking urgent and sweeping changes to the Leaving Cert, then look away now. A major advisory report on proposals to reshape the senior cycle – due to be published by the Minister for Education shortly – advocates the kind of incremental reform that will likely take years to draw up, never mind fully implement …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 8 November]

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College entry to be based on wider range of students’ skills

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

Ireland“The Central Applications Office (CAO) points system will need to be revised to reflect a wider range of students’ skills and learning pathways, according to a major report on senior-cycle reform to be published shortly …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 8 November]

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CAO system must change to reflect wider range of students’ skills – Harris

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 5th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Universities must review the CAO points system to ensure it recognises a wider range of students’ skills or risk losing public funding, Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris has warned …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 4 November]

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Irish language groups and students seek CAO bonus points in new Leaving Cert Gaeilge

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 4th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Irish language groups and students are seeking maths-style CAO bonus points for the highest-achieving students in Gaeilge as part of a new plan for the subject at Leaving Cert …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 3 November]

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Universities call for Leaving Cert results to be given in June

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 19th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Universities say timelines for the release of Leaving Cert results are ‘no longer fit for purpose’ and want students to be issued their grades at the end of June, followed by college offers in July …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 18 October]

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Universities call for Leaving Cert results to be given in June

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 19th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Universities say timelines for the release of Leaving Cert results are ‘no longer fit for purpose’ and want students to be issued their grades at the end of June, followed by college offers in July. The Irish Universities Association – which represents eight of the largest universities – is also calling for an immediate end to ‘distorting’ grade inflation and a return to normal grade patterns …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 18 October]

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Single portal for CAO and further education options to open from next month

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 13th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Students will be able to choose between university and further education courses through a single CAO portal for the first time from next month. Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris said the new service will broaden the conversation around career and study options beyond our current ‘obsession’ with higher education and the points race …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 13 October]

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USI, IUA Express Disappointment With Budget 2022

Posted in Governance and administration on October 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and the Irish Universities Association (IUA) have expressed disappointment Budget 2022, arguing that more needs to be done for the third-level sector …” (more)

[Mairead Maguire, University Times, 12 October]

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Up to 750 students did not get college offers due to errors in CAO applications

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

Ireland“Up to 750 college applicants did not get college places in round one of this year’s CAO offers due to errors or commissions in their applications. Students reported last month that they had failed to spot ‘urgent’ emails from the CAO alerting them to issues with their applications …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 7 October]

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‘I got maximum points – and I still lost out’: Is it time to ditch the points race for college?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 28th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Has the CAO points system run its course? Earlier this month, Simon Harris, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, questioned if the points system is the right way to go, stating that it is ‘not the international norm’ …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 28 September]

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Half of Leaving Cert students received first preference college place

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

Ireland“Half of Leaving Certificate students in 2021 received their first preference college place while a further 20% got their second choice. The research from iReach found 42% of students attained over 500 points in this year’s Leaving Cert when students for the first time had the choice of whether they wished to sit written exams for receive calculated grades from their teachers …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 27 September]

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The rise in CAO points has sent shock waves through the educational system

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 15th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“When third-level college places were announced last week, my social media was quickly flooded with images of excited young adults about to embark on the next stage of their education. Like most years, these images came a week after a stream of news stories on the ‘600-plus points’ students who were rightly celebrated in the national media …” (more)

[Colman Noctor, Irish Examiner, 14 September]

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Teachers and the points system

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 13th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – On the front page of the Irish Times on September 8th, the university registrars cite ‘grade inflation’ as the source of ‘cruelty’ inflicted on disappointed young people seeking to enter college (‘Call to tackle “cruel” grade inflation as college points hit new high’, News, September 8th) …” (more)

[Tomás Ó Ruairc, Irish Times, 13 September]

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Students left without college offers due to errors or omissions in their CAO applications

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

Ireland“Significant numbers of Leaving Cert students have not received any college offers after failing to spot ‘urgent’ emails from the CAO alerting them to errors or omissions in their applications. In many cases, the affected students secured the points required for their first-choice courses but lost out because their exam numbers were not recorded on the CAO system …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 9 September]

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Grade Inflation: The Scandal Nobody Is Calling A Scandal

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

Ireland“… The reason for this inflation is obvious: The department of education, fearful that it would be blamed by some parents if their children did not do well in the context of a year of school closures, instructed that those marking the examinations should take the lockdown and the impact of school closures into account. Formally and informally, up and down the examinations process, political pressure was exerted to make sure that people’s ‘hard work’ was recognised and rewarded. The result is record high marks. But of course, record high marks have disastrous consequences …” (more)

[John McGuirk, Gript, 9 September]

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Grade inflation set to end for next year’s Leaving Cert, says Foley

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

Ireland“Leaving Cert grades look set to return to more normal levels in next year’s exams, down from record highs of the past two years. Minister for Education Norma Foley said on Wednesday that a return to more traditional assessments next year, without school-estimated grades, is likely to see a return to more normal patterns of achievement …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 8 September]

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Simon Harris backs overhaul of Leaving Cert and college admissions system

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

Ireland“There ‘must be a better way’ to decide on third-level admissions than the Leaving Cert, the Minister for Further Education has said. Speaking in Dublin on Wednesday, Simon Harris said he is not sure the current exam and points race is ‘the right way to go’, referring to the fact that a number of students who achieved maximum marks in the Leaving Cert could still miss out on their preferred course due to their being more students applying than places available …” (more)

[Paul Hosford, Irish Examiner, 8 September]

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Offers and Points

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

Ireland“Yesterday the Central Admissions Office released the first round offers for entry to Irish Universities; today the details appeared in the Irish newspapers. I don’t usually buy a newspaper on a weekday but I couldn’t resist getting a copy of the Irish Times so I could pore over the information presented in the CAO supplement, of which the picture above shows only a part …” (more)

[In the Dark, 8 September]

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Call to tackle ‘cruel’ grade inflation as college points hit new high

Posted in Governance and administration on September 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“High levels of grade inflation in the Leaving Cert exams are ‘cruel’ and need to return to normal next year, according to universities. Pól Ó Dochartaigh, deputy president of NUI Galway and chairman of the CAO, said too many students on high points lost out on their chosen courses due to record high grades this year …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 8 September]

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