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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College Extends Admissions Feasibility Study Until 2021

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 4th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“College will extend its admissions feasibility study for another two years, after questions over its future were raised earlier this year. Trinity’s admission’s feasibility study offers places in certain courses based on criteria other than CAO points, including the relative rank of a student in their second-level class …” (more)

[Katy Amos, University Times, 3 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 Leaving Cert might not be perfect but it is fairer than many other systems

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 31st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“June heralds not only the beginning of the Leaving Certificate but also the annual debate about whether the high stake exams are still fit for purpose. The typical complaints are that the Leaving Certificate causes too much stress and that it fails to develop critical thinking among students …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 31 May]

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State exams commission and Minister win limited appeal against Carter judgment

Posted in Legal issues on May 29th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The State Examinations Commission (SEC) and the Minister for Education and Skills have succeeded in their limited appeals against parts of a High Court decision allowing student Rebecca Carter to take up a place at veterinary medicine at UCD …” (more)

[Aodhan O’Faolain, Irish Times, 29 May]

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Failing A-levels

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 17th, 2019 by steve

“As it is tangentially related to yesterday’s post I thought I’d comment on an article in The Times with the headline …” (more)

[In the Dark, 17 April]

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Fate of Admissions Feasibility Study Up in the Air

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 9th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Uncertainty abounds over the future of Trinity’s admissions feasibility study, as College considers whether to continue funding a programme that aims to make certain courses accessible to students with fewer CAO points. The admissions programme allows leaving certificate students to apply to study law, history, and ancient and medieval history in Trinity using alternative criteria to CAO points …” (more)

[Aisling Marren, University Times, 9 April]

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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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Call for students in disadvantaged schools to get extra CAO points

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

Ireland“Students from disadvantaged schools should receive extra CAO points in recognition of the barriers they face, the president of a school management body has suggested. Paul Fiorentini, president of the Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools, said more work is needed to ensure greater equality of access to higher education …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 28 March]

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Fee Certainty Is Not Enough to Quell the Northern Ireland CAO Tumble

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

Ireland“It was perhaps unclear, on June 23rd, 2016, just how destabilising Britain’s Brexit vote would be to the European economy as a whole. Ireland, as the UK’s nearest neighbour and one of its closest trading partners, is particularly exposed to these destabilising forces. It quickly became clear that myriad sectors of the Irish economy would come under significant strain, especially in the event of a no-deal Brexit …” (more)

[Matthew Murphy, University Times, 20 March]

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CAO applicants are chasing the jobs in booming economy

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 9th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“This year’s school leavers have made smart CAO choices to follow the jobs in the booming economy. A big jump in demand for courses in the Stem areas of science, technology, engineering and maths is a clear response to the wealth of opportunities for such graduates. In the fastest-growing economy in Europe, old reliables, such as teaching, law, architecture and construction have also seen a bounce in applications …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 9 March]

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Sharp drop in CAO applications from UK amid Brexit uncertainty

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 9th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“There has been a sharp drop in students from Britain and Northern Ireland applying to study in the Republic amid continuing uncertainty over Brexit. A breakdown of latest Central Applications Office (CAO) figures for 2019 shows applications from Northern Ireland are down by 18% annually while those from Britain are down 13% …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 9 March]

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A senator wants students to get CAO points for sports and social action

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

Ireland“A Fine Gael Senator is proposing to change the CAO applications system to give points for social and athletic involvement. Senator for Cavan-Monaghan Joe O’Reilly has proposed to change the current 625 points system to award 550 points for academic subjects and 75 points to social, cultural and athletic achievements …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 25 February]

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Ministers McHugh and Mitchell O’Connor welcome earlier date for Round One CAO offers

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

Ireland“Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD and Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD have today (15 February, 2019) welcomed confirmation that Round One offers from the Central Applications Office (CAO) will be issued this year on the earlier date of Thursday, 15 August 2019 …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 15 February]

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Leaving Cert students set to receive college offers four days earlier than normal

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

Ireland“This year’s Leaving Cert students will have to wait just 48 hours after they get their exam results to find out if they have a college place. Up until now, thousands of students have faced the agony of a five-day wait after their results to see if they secured a CAO offer …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 15 February]

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College entry applications edge up on last year

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

Ireland“Applications for college entry are up slightly on this time last year. The CAO received 73,157 applications when the main deadline passed yesterday. The final tally will likely be higher as there is a facility for late applications, and normally a few thousand more come in …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 2 February]

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CAO applications rise to over 73,000 for higher education courses

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

Ireland“The number of CAO applications this year has increased slightly with more than 73,000 people applying for a place in higher education. The modest increase of just over 400 applications, or 0.6%, reverses last year’s trend when the total number of applications fell by 5%. This was due mainly due a decline in mature applicants …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 1 February]

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School ‘league tables’ and apprenticeships

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

Ireland“Sir, – As a chairman of a board of management of a secondary school, I understand the natural objective of school managements to encourage as many pupils to choose third-level courses as possible in order to maintain the position or progress up the league table …” (more)

[Robert Berney, Irish Times, 29 January]

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Tables reveal – but don’t explain – progression rates for different schools

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

Ireland“We’re obsessed with college degrees in Ireland. In less than four years’ time full-time student numbers will reach the 200,000 mark, according to the latest official Department of Education and Skills projections. That’s double the total in 1995/96 and an increase of 30,000 in universities, institutes of technology and other colleges of education in a decade …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 27 January]


Fee-paying schools: do you get what you pay for?

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

Ireland“Parents will often wonder if paying extra for their child’s education is worthwhile when so many of the country’s non fee-paying schools perform exceptionally well when it comes to seeing students progress to third level. For some, private education is a worthwhile investment. Others may want their son or daughter to follow their path and attend their own alma mater …” (more)

[Wayne O’Connor, Independent, 27 January]