The problems with feeder school lists

Posted in Governance and administration on December 4th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – ‘Feeder school’ lists (Feeder Schools 2019, December 3rd) promote a distorted view that educational success is dependent on students securing places on third-level courses that require high points. They also suggest that immediate progress to third level is the only choice worth valuing and recognising …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 4 December]

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Private school accused of heating up points race in fourth year

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 25th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A private school has sparked controversy by introducing a new programme that it says allows students to cover large sections of the Leaving Cert curriculum over three years. The policy of the Department of Education is that the Leaving Certificate programme should be taught over a maximum of two years …” (more)

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

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Wealthy students and high-points courses

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 24th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – That students from affluent backgrounds are more likely to study ‘high points’ courses should come as little surprise to anybody (News, October 21st). However, the findings of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) report make clear the need for significant additional, targeted investment across all levels of education to afford students an equal opportunity to fulfil their own potential, irrespective of their postal address …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 24 October]

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Examinations official criticises ‘relentless pursuit of CAO points’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 24th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The ‘relentless pursuit of CAO points’ is having an extreme influence on how students are engaging with teaching and learning, according to a senior State Examinations Commission official. Tim Desmond, head of examination and assessment, said moves by higher-education institutions to develop more specialised courses is intensifying the points race and inflating the public’s perception of certain courses …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 24 October]

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Wealthy students more likely to study high-points courses – report

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 21st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Affluent students are far more likely to study high-points courses in university and earn more within months of graduating than those from less well-off backgrounds, a new study finds. Medicine, dentistry, finance and engineering courses attract the highest proportions of well-off students from the wealthiest parts of the country, according to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) research …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 21 October]

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Rise in honours Maths uptake to attain CAO bonus points ‘has not improved standards’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on October 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Bonus points in Leaving Cert higher-level Maths have not necessarily improved standards in the subject. Student uptake of the ‘honours’ paper has doubled since the bonus of 25 CAO points for a minimum 40% mark was introduced, but it has not been matched by a corresponding improvement in students’ ability in maths …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 11 October]

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Trinity considering plan to cut 3,000 places for Irish students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 2nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin is considering cutting its intake of Irish students by up to a quarter over the next five years in order to protect the quality of its education. Such a move would likely result in a sharp increase in the number of CAO points required for courses due to increased competition for fewer places …” (more)

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

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Moving away from points system may not level the playing field

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on September 5th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – In her recent column, Joanna Siewierska, president of UCD students’ union, makes many good points but two points in particular deserve comment (‘Time to change our unfair CAO points system’, Education Opinion, September 3rd) …” (more)

[Greg Foley, Irish Times, 5 September]

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Time to change our unfair CAO points system

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Education is a public good. It’s something that we should all be proud to invest in and ensure that all members of society have an opportunity to benefit from. Enabling broad access to education is undoubtedly the key to reducing inequalities in society, and promoting equality of outcome for our young people and adults …” (more)

[Joanna Siewierska, Irish Times, 3 September]

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Major drop in points for top courses on CAO second round

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 29th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The second round of college offers brought good news for 2,513 CAO applicants, with many receiving a place on their top-choice course. No new offers were made for the majority of courses, but there was plenty to celebrate with significant points drops on some hotly contested programmes. Among the Level 8 (honours degree) disciplines with the most new offers were arts (219), health (239), social and behavioural sciences (169), business (159), engineering (145) and nursing (132) …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 29 August]

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UCD SU say competition for college places at ‘alarming level’ as points exceed 600

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“UCD students’ union has claimed the competition for higher education has now reached an ‘alarming level’ as entry requirements for a course at the university exceeded 600 points for the first time ever. The minimum entry requirements for economics and finance at University College Dublin (UCD) surpassed 600 points, attracting a cut-off of 601 points …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 16 August]

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CAO Points breakdown: Finance course breaks 600 points barrier

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland

“For so many students, so much hinges on a mix of chance and the choices of tens of thousands of their peers. This year, 51,513 students received an offer in round one but, for many, CAO points rises – particularly for science, technology, maths and engineering courses – will mean it’s not the course they had hoped for …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 15 August]

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CAO 2019: Points jump for science, technology and engineering

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Points for degrees in science, technology, maths and engineering have jumped as students flock towards courses with strong job prospects. Overall, the number of courses commanding in excess of 500 CAO points has climbed to a new high …” (more)

[CAO round one offers here]
[Carl O’Brien, Peter McGuire and Éanna Ó Caollaí, Irish Times, 15 August]

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CAO points for college entry have crashed the 600-point limit for the first time

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“CAO points for college entry have crashed the 600-point limit for the first time. In a remarkable development in CAO Round 1, the cut-off points for UCD’s prestigious BSc Economics and Finance has hit 601. In the 33-year history of the CAO, it’s the first course where more than 600 Leaving Cert points were needed to get an offer …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 15 August]

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Education Minister denies new Leaving Cert undermines system: ‘We’re moving away from concept of failure’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh has denied that the change in awarded Leaving Certificate points has undermined the system. A record number sat higher level papers this year with students likely attracted by changes in the grading system in 2017 allowing candidates who achieve between 30-39% at higher level to earn CAO points …” (more)

[Evie Kearney, Independent, 13 August]

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Six take-away points from this year’s Leaving Cert results

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on August 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland1. More performing well in higher level papers. The most significant trend evident in this year’s results is a steady increase in the numbers taking higher level papers and performing well in them. This trend is evident across a wide range of subjects, particularly in the core subjects of Irish, English and maths …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 13 August]

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Review shows students think Irish should become optional for Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on July 29th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Many students think Irish should become an optional subject for the Leaving Cert as a review of senior cycle education uncovers mixed views on keeping Gaeilge compulsory. Parents would also like to see students have the option to focus on five exam subjects instead of seven. Many students believe all subjects should be optional. The finding is included in a review of the existing senior cycle …” (more)

[Jess Casey, BreakingNews.ie, 29 July]

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Points System Reform

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Catherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his views on recent proposals (details supplied) to grant CAO points for students’ civic activity; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 11 June]

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CAO points race is distorting the true meaning of education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on June 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“With this year’s State examinations almost upon us, and a review of the senior cycle underway, it is perhaps timely to consider how that review should proceed. The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) represents second level teachers as well as teachers in further and adult education and third level lecturers …” (more)

[Seamus Lahart, Irish Times, 3 June]

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The Irish Times view on Leaving Cert reforms

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on April 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The consultation with students and parents as part of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) review of the Leaving Cert, reveals a surprising ignorance on how the exam has been radically transformed, as revised curriculums across a wide range of subjects have been introduced …” (more)

[Irish Times, 1 April]

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