140 courses still available despite record applicants
SCORES of courses at third- level colleges remain unfilled, despite the record number of applicants this year.
The tiny Tipperary Institute has been unable to fill 22 of its 23 courses on the first round of offers, and posted the vacancies on the CAO website yesterday.
There are a total of 21 third- level colleges which have vacancies, on 140 courses, which is down a little on the same time last year.
The vacancies arise because there were not enough qualified applicants for all the places.
The only course that the Tipperary Institute expects to completely fill on the first round is an honours degree in computing -- software development. The remaining courses in business, marketing and computing have vacancies as has the honours degree in social and community studies.
Points for most of the full- time courses in Tipperary dropped this year. The level 7/6 business course in Clonmel dropped from 180 to 125, but the information technology-creative multimedia course rose five points to 295, making it the hardest course to get into in the institute.
As well as struggling to fill all of its courses, the institute is seeking to recruit jobless people on to eight full-time and part- time courses introduced as part of the Government's Labour Market Activation Measures.
The institute, which gets about €9m a year from the Exchequer, has about 490 full- time and 250 part-time students. It was established in 1998 with campuses in Thurles and Clonmel.
Questions had been raised about its survival, but it has now linked up with the Limerick Institute of Technology.
In all there were 140 courses listed with vacancies countrywide yesterday, mostly in the institute of technology and private college sectors. Application to the courses is through the Central Applications Office and is open to anyone whether or not they had previously applied to the CAO.
A fee of €45 is charged where applicants to a 'vacant places' course had not previously applied. In all cases applicants must meet the minimum entry requirements for the course(s) they intend to apply for.
Athlone Institute of Technology said it had vacancies on six courses in the areas of science, accounting and tourism.
Cork Institute of Technology had vacancies on its chemical and biopharmaceutical engineering courses, one of the growth areas for jobs, and on its structural and biomedical engineering degree courses.
Meanwhile a new private institution, Beckett College Dublin, is offering a medical course in association with the University of Pecs, Hungary, to students who get 400 points in their Leaving. The course will comprise a one-year, pre-medical programme followed by a two-year non-clinical medical programme leading to four years of training in Hungary.
The programme is taught completely in English and leads to an MD degree in general medicine. This is the first time the university has agreed to team up with a foreign college in Ireland and the UK in this manner.