Our CAO points system is equitable and transparent. Why change it?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 18th, 2022 by steve

Ireland“When the Leaving Cert results and offers of places in colleges were released last September, there was a blizzard of criticism of the points system. This was odd because the problem at the time was caused by inflated grades produced by the school-based assessment system …” (more)

[John McAvoy, Irish Times, 18 January]

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What will CAO points requirements look like in 2022?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 11th, 2022 by steve

Ireland“Last year saw a significant increase in application numbers to the CAO, as almost 85,000 people sought a place in an undergraduate course in one of Ireland’s 40-plus third-level institutions. Half of the more than 5,000 additional applicants arose from the demographic increase in numbers of students in our second-level schools, a trend which will continue for a number of years to come …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 11 January]

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Fee-paying schools dominate college entry, but some gains for Deis pupils

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 7th, 2022 by steve

Ireland“Fee-paying schools continue to dominate entry to college, but the second Covid-era Leaving Cert gave disadvantaged pupils a further CAO lift. Pupils in schools serving the most disadvantaged communities have benefited from the use of grades based on teachers’ estimated marks instead of, or alongside, exam results …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 7 January]

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Students in fee-charging schools more likely to progress to courses with high points

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 7th, 2022 by steve

Ireland“Students from fee-charging schools are significantly more likely to progress to high points college courses, according to data compiled by The Irish Times. However, schools in disadvantaged areas – or Deis schools – have also performed strongly by sending high numbers of students to third level …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Éanna Ó Caollaí and Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 7 January]

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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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Points race and second-level education

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

Ireland“A chara, – Much of the discussion around the Leaving Certificate results revolve around teacher assessment, the need for terminal State examinations, grade inflation and increases in CAO points. What is largely ignored is the influence of the points system on post-primary education …” (more)

[Dermot Quish, Irish Times, 4 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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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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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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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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Grade inflation drives CAO points to record highs for many college courses

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 7th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“CAO points for entry into many college courses have jumped to a record high, with some students failing to get into courses despite securing more than 600 points. About 20 college courses across universities such as Trinity, UCD, DCU, NUI Galway, RCSI and UL broke the 600-point barrier this year. This is up from seven courses last year and just one the year before …” (more)

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

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High-scoring Leaving Cert students may miss out on preferred CAO courses

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 7th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Some students who received more than 600 points in their Leaving Cert may miss out on their first-choice course in the first round of CAO offers on Tuesday because of grade inflation. CAO points for university and college courses are set to increase when offers are made in the first round due to a record number of students securing the highest grades in this year’s Leaving Cert …” (more)

[Simon Carswell, Irish Times, 7 September]

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CAO system overhaul will see further education and apprenticeships included

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 6th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The minister for higher education is set to overhaul the CAO system to include further education and apprenticeships. From November, the CAO website will be revamped to include those areas in a bid to ease what has been dubbed the ‘points race’ …” (more)

[Paul Hosford, Irish Examiner, 6 September]

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‘Inevitable’ that points for most courses will increase due to record-breaking Leaving Cert results

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

Ireland“It’s ‘inevitable’ that points for college courses will increase following the record-breaking results in this years’ Leaving Cert, the chair of the Central Applications Office (CAO) has said …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 5 September]

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Has the Leaving Certificate been ‘dumbed down’?

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

Ireland“‘We’re thrilled with the results – they are record-breaking’, beamed Yvonne O’Toole, principal of the Institute of Education in Dublin, shortly after the school’s Leaving Cert results appeared on her computer screen. ‘As a school, we’re like a community. We cried with excitement when we saw them’ …” (more)

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

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Record Leaving Cert grades to tighten race for college places

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 3rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Another record set of Leaving Cert grades will drive up points for college entry when CAO offers are made next week. More than 61,000 Leaving Cert candidates are today receiving results that show an average 2.6% grade inflation on last year …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 3 September]

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Leaving Cert points for some high-demand courses set to rise this year

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

Ireland“The points needed in this year’s Leaving Certificate for some high-demand third-level courses, such as medicine and pharmacy, are set to rise, it has emerged. Seven-hundred 2020 Leaving Cert students, who sat written exams last November, were awarded places on Wednesday in higher-points courses than they were awarded by the Central Applications Office (CAO) last year …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 7 July]

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Will CAO points rise even higher this year?

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

IrelandI’m told there are record numbers of CAO applicants this year. What effect is this likely to have on CAO points requirements for third-level courses in 2021? The success or otherwise of applicants in securing a place in college in one of their top choices is determined by a number of factors such as the grades achieved by this year’s students, the number of places on individual courses and the demand for these places …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 4 May]

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