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More than 53,000 students receive course offer in first round

Students will have until September 16 to accept an offer in round one.

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The University of Limerick (Dennis Gilbert/Riba/PA)

The University of Limerick (Dennis Gilbert/Riba/PA)

The University of Limerick (Dennis Gilbert/Riba/PA)

More than 53,000 people have received an offer in the CAO’s first round, despite a rise in entry points in the majority of third-level courses.

Figures show that points have significantly risen for Level 8 courses.

Central Applications Office (CAO) released offers for third-level courses on Friday.

A total of 53,815 people received an offer, a rise of 2,300 compared to last year.

A total of 78,168 applied to the CAO, with some 80% receiving an offer in the first round.

Students will have until September 16 to accept an offer in round one, with the second round published at 10am on September 23.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris said that more people will be accepted to college than in any previous year.

“Overall this year we have 12% more places for higher education than we did last year,” he said.

“Last year 80% of applicants at Level 8 got an offer of their top three choices; the report this year is in line with that again, despite the different process.

“The Level 6 and 7 top three offers is around 90%. That’s an increase compared to last year where 70% received an offer.”

He said that around 85% of previous years’ students received an offer in their top three choices.

The majority of students who get the results today are going to be very pleased, they are going to be very pleased with the offer that they are going to getProfessor Pol O Dochartaigh

More than 19,000 students accepted offers in the hours after it was published.

“This is a very big day in the lives of many students and their families across the country and many of them are delighted,” Mr Harris added.

“I am also deeply conscience of the people who logged on and were disappointed.

“It’s been so much more intense this year. For anyone who is disappointed in their first offer, I know this is a terribly difficult day, but it’s really important you know that this is not the end by a long shot.

“There will be further offers.”

More than 60,000 students learned their calculated grades on Monday.

There have been concerns over the rise in Leaving Certificate results and its impact on entry points.

The Government created thousands of additional places on courses in an attempt to ease a spike in the points system.

Professor Pol O Dochartaigh, chairman of the CAO board, said: “We haven’t done any kind of averaging across all of the courses.

“What I can say is that in some courses the points have gone up, probably by a reasonable chunk, others very slightly, and in some courses the points have actually gone down.

“That would be across the sector so it’s by no means a uniform picture.”

“It would be fair to say for the year that is in it there has been increased interest in everything to do with health, and therefore I think the demand has gone up there.

“The majority of students who get the results today are going to be very pleased, they are going to be very pleased with the offer that they are going to get.

“But, as in any other year, there will be some disappointed candidates.

“I think it’d be important to focus on them and what the next steps are for them.”

Sinn Fein’s spokeswoman for Further and Higher Education Rose Conway-Walsh accused the Government of failing to ensure “fairness and a level playing field” for students.

“Substantial increases in entrance points will mean many students will not get the courses that they want.

“Prior leaving cert students will be particularly disadvantaged,” she said.

“Points for many courses have skyrocketed, with some in-demand courses increasing by 80+ points.

“Paramedic Studies in the University of Limerick is up by 79 points, Law and French in Cork University are up by 89 points, and Pharmaceutical Science in TU Dublin has increased by a shocking 116.

“There are a number of reasons for this.

“Some are the result of a failure to adequately prepare over the last few months, others have been years in the making.”

PA