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 schools keep grip on high-points college courses

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

Ireland“Click here to download the full 2019 Feeder School tables. Pupils emerging from private schools are keeping a strong grip on the most sought-after third-level courses, despite millions being spent on narrowing the class gap in education …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Peter McGuire and Éanna Ó Caollaí, Irish Times, 3 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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Why are so many Leaving Cert students being upgraded?

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

Ireland“My child eventually started college – three weeks late – after being upgraded in the Leaving Cert and securing his first-choice course. What’s wrong with the correction process that leads to children having to appeal to secure grades they are entitled to? …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 12 November]

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The two-tier nature of education system

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 28th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The recently published Higher Education Authority (HEA) report on socioeconomic and spatial differences in third-level education (as reported in Carl O’Brien’s article ‘Wealthy students more likely to study high-points courses’, News, October 21st) draws attention to the role that parental income and where you live may play in higher education choices in Ireland. However, a deeper understanding of these relationships is needed …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 28 October]

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Pressure on students

Posted in Teaching on October 28th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I must disagree with the head of examinations and assessment in the State Examination Committee, Tim Desmond, in recommending that ‘the CAO system changes significantly, to move the pressure point from the end of senior cycle to the end of first year in third-level institutions’ …” (more)

[Marion Dunne, Irish Times, 28 October]

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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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Head to Head: Is the CAO a good system for deciding university admissions?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 10th, 2019 by steve

IrelandYES by Manasa Bramhanya: Education can be defined in simple words as the process of acquiring knowledge, skills, values and applying the same for innovation purposes. Education undoubtedly enhances people’s lives and plays a key role in a country’s development …” (more)

[Manasa Bramhanya, University Observer, 10 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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Universities told to find spaces for 35 students without college places

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 23rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Government Ministers have intervened to pressurise universities into providing college places for dozens of students who were told in recent days that they could not take up their places until next year. Thirty-five students were told last Thursday there was no college place for them in the current year after they secured places following rechecks and upgrades of their Leaving Cert exam papers, The Irish Times understands …” (more)

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

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Number of late CAO offers more than doubles

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 23rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The number of late CAO offers made to Leaving Cert candidates who were awarded a results upgrade has more than doubled to 594. It follows an almost doubling in applications for exam rechecks after major changes to the appeals process and, in turn, a doubling in the number of successful appeals to 2,916 …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 23 September]

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Time for change in assessing Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on September 21st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The inequalities in our educational outcomes are stark. A soon-to-be released report from the Higher Education Authority indicates the strong connection between the more affluent members of our society and high results in the Leaving Cert and access to third level, particularly the future high-income courses such as medicine, business, and finance …” (more)

[Denise Burns and others, Irish Times, 19 September]

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Almost 3,000 Leaving Cert results upgraded in record year

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 20th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Almost 3,000 Leaving Cert exam results have been upgraded after students successfully sought rechecks of their papers. The record number follows a surge in the number of rechecks this year, due mainly to reforms that have speeded up the appeals process and given students greater access to their exam papers online …” (more)

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

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New Report to Highlight Dramatic Inequalities in Higher Education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 10th, 2019 by steve

IrelandThe Irish Independent reports that the review – described as the most detailed research ever on higher education – focuses on the impact of socioeconomic background on access to higher education, as well as Central Applications Office (CAO) points …” (more)

[Malachi Ó Marcaigh, University Times, 9 September]

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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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