First year college classes must not start before September 27 – students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on June 10th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Second-level student leaders say teaching of first years in third-level colleges must start no earlier than September 27, following the announcement that Leaving Cert result won’t issue until September 3. Colleges have been reviewing their schedules and some, including UCD, DCU, UCC, NUI Galway and Maynooth University, have decided on a September 27 start for tuition, but details are awaited from across the sector …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 10 June]

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Majority of Leaving Cert students want choice between calculated grades and exams

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 20th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The majority of Leaving Cert students want a choice between calculated grades and sitting June exams this year, according to a survey. The first preference of over half of the students – 55% – is to have that flexibility and the figure rises to 81% when second preferences are included. Only 4% of students – one in 25 – voted for the conventional exams as their top option, in the Irish Second Level Students Union (ISSU) survey …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 20 January]

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Next academic year will see 5,000 extra students at college compared to 2 years ago

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

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris has confirmed that the 2,225 extra college places secured last year during the controversy over the Leaving Certificate calculated grades will be available again this year. He also said he had secured budget funding for more than 2,000 other new places this year, bringing the total to almost 5,000 …” (more)

[Marie O’Halloran and Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 14 January]

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Leaving Cert students ‘face burnout’ from constant testing in class

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on November 26th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Secondary students are feeling ‘unrelenting pressure’ as a result of constant testing from teachers who say the results may determine their Leaving Cert grades if exams are cancelled next year. The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union will tell the Oireachtas education committee on Thursday that many exam-year classes are sitting monthly or weekly exams …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 25 November]

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CAO points set to rise under Leaving Cert calculated grades

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on September 2nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“CAO points for many third-level courses are likely to rise due to higher grades being offered to Leaving Cert students this year under the Government’s new calculated grades process. The Department of Education has confirmed that grades will be ‘stronger’ this year compared to previous years, which will lead to some grade inflation …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 2 September]

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Colleges in chaos as exam results delayed

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 18th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Students, parents, and colleges have been left scrambling as the fallout from the decision to delay publishing this year’s Leaving Certificate results added to the chaos and confusion engulfing the education sector …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 18 July]

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Students frustrated by exclusion from discussions for Leaving Cert results date, union says

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on July 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU) has expressed disappointment that they were not included in discussions around the date for the release of the Leaving Cert results before it was announced …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 17 July]

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Where next for the Leaving Cert?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on June 23rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“‘Teachers will predict the grades of their own students and there will be no Leaving Cert exam’ – if you’d suggested this at the start of 2020, teachers, unions, parents, students and the Department of Education would have assumed you were sleep-talking through a far-fetched Leaving Cert dream …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 23 June]

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The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union Say They’re Disappointed That The Student Voice Was Not Sufficiently Consulted Last Week

Posted in Teaching on April 14th, 2020 by steve

“A decision on the postponement of the Leaving Cert exams was finalised. The Education Minister announced on Friday that the Leaving Cert has been postponed until the last week of July or early August with the Junior Cert cancelled and will be replaced with class-based tests …” (more)

[Red FM, 13 April]

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Teachers’ union raises ‘serious concerns’ over delay in Leaving Cert

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on April 11th, 2020 by steve

“The country’s largest secondary teachers union says it has ‘a number of serious concerns’ over elements of the decision to postpone the Leaving Cert until late summer. While the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) said it welcomed the decision in principle, it understood there is concern in the union over the length of the school year and the prospect of teachers being asked to return for two weeks or more in July to prepare students for the exams …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 11 April]

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Clarity demanded on State exams plans as students ‘left too long without answers’

Posted in Teaching on April 9th, 2020 by steve

“Urgent clarity is needed on the plans for the State exams during the current pandemic as the current ‘complete vacuum of information’ is leaving young people stressed and distracted. That is according to the Ombudsman for Children Dr Niall Muldoon who has called for a decision to be made on the Leaving and Junior Certificate examinations …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 9 April]

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State exams may be delayed until late summer or autumn

Posted in Teaching on April 9th, 2020 by steve

“State exams may now be held in late summer or autumn as the Government believes it is unlikely that Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted in time for the usual June start date. Students have been urged to continue with their studies as senior officials in the Department of Education consider a range of contingency options due to the coronavirus crisis …” (more)

[Jennifer Bray and Éanna Ó Caollaí, Irish Times, 9 April]

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Study reveals Leaving Cert students split on cancelling exams

Posted in Teaching on April 4th, 2020 by steve

“Leaving Cert students are split on whether the June exams should be cancelled, according to a new survey. Almost half – 49% – want to cancel the June sittings and to be assessed through a system of predicted grading, based on previous results. However, 45% of student don’t want the traditional exams abandoned, with many supporting the idea of a July or August sitting if they can’t happen in June …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 3 April]

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Secondary students want State exams replaced with predicted grades

Posted in Teaching on April 3rd, 2020 by steve

“Tens of thousands of secondary school students have called for this year’s State exams to be cancelled and replaced with predicted grades. In an online survey of 47,000 Junior and Leaving Cert students over the past week, the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union found that most want their grades to be based on their coursework to date due to the disruption caused by schools being closed due to the coronavirus outbreak …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 3 April]

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Students want to be involved in decision-making around State exams

Posted in Teaching on March 25th, 2020 by steve

“Second-level students want to involved in the decision-making around the Leaving Cert and Junior cycle exams, in the face of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU) said there was an immense feeling of uncertainty and anxiety as students await clarification on the exams …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 25 March]

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Students March to Break the Barriers to Higher Education on October 3rd

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on September 30th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“On Thursday, 3rd October the Union of Students in Ireland are hosting the National Demonstration to Break the Barriers to higher education. Currently, some of the barriers to education include: Ireland has the second-highest fees in the EU [will be the highest after Brexit]; …” (more)

[USI, 30 September]

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Student grant fails to cover half of rental costs in Ireland’s cities

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 12th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The grant provided by the Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) does not cover even half of the cost of accommodation in Ireland’s major cities, a committee has heard. The SUSI grant, which provides funding to third-level students for fees and maintenance, also fails to reflect the cost of living, particularly for housing …” (more)

[Cate McCurry, Belfast Telegraph, 12 September]

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Teachers ‘deeply concerned’ about abolition of Junior Cert

Posted in Teaching on September 11th, 2013 by steve

“The president of Ireland’s main second level teachers’ union says she is ‘deeply concerned’ about the decision by the Minister for Education to abolish the Junior Cert …” (more)

[Irish Times, 11 September]

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The dole queue or the departure lounge? This is the choice Ireland’s youth is facing

Posted in Life on September 4th, 2013 by steve

“Last week’s CSO figures confirmed what anyone working with Irish students and graduates already knows – the recent fall in the Live Register owes more to the emigration of 35,000 of our best and brightest than it does to new job creation …” (more)

[, 3 September]

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Education minister welcomes students’ report on Junior Cert reform

Posted in Teaching on December 29th, 2011 by steve

“Students have given their input on the new reformed Junior Cycle, and their thoughts have been welcomed by Ruairi Quinn, TD, Minister for Education and Skills …” (more)

[, 29 December]
[The new report is here]

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