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Concern over CAO points manipulation by colleges

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 17/08/2015. Concern over CAO points manipulation by collegesTags: Education And Politics

As 52,028 students receive a first round offer from the CAO today, and with a rise in points with the number of degree courses requiring 500 points jumping by 25%, concern has been raised about suggestions that some colleges have been manipulating the CAO Admissions System.

The Sunday Business Post reported at the weekend that colleges have been limiting the number of students admitted to high points courses, even if places are available on them. For example if a course had 140 places, a college might only fill 130 so that the points needed would not drop.

Fianna Fail’s education spokesperson, Deputy Charlie McConalogue, is today calling on education bodies to ‘get serious about points manipulation’. The deputy spoke about how the Minister of Education and the education body HEA must tackle the problem of Irish universities ‘inflating points’ for popular courses.

‘The controversial system sees colleges offering more specialised courses, many of which have fewer than 20 places, in order to increase competition and keep the CAO points artificially high’.

Deputy McConalogue commented, “This is an extremely serious issue that is affecting hundreds of students across the country. Universities are effectively using the points system as a marketing tool to make their courses appear more competitive and elusive, and in the process of doing this are shutting eligible students out of their programmes.”

Continued... “The universities have never made a secret of the practice, and its prevalence has perpetuated the fallacy that high points courses are more prestigious, which is not always the case. This has exacerbated the points race and has heaped even more pressure on already stressed-out Leaving Cert students.”

The deputy is asking that new national guidelines should be examined to ‘broaden the level entry options.’


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