Sunday 4 December 2016

Innovation and fairness can end college points race

Patrick Geoghegan

Published 18/08/2014 | 02:30

Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin

'If justice perishes, human life on earth has no meaning'. This was the favourite quote of one student who applied to Trinity this year through our innovative feasibility study in admissions, and they used Immanuel Kant's words to explore the challenges facing our society.

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Another quoted Boonaa Mohammed and posed the question: 'If the whole world was blind, how many people would you impress?' These essays looked at everything from the conflicting layers of history, anti-war movements in World War 1, questions of gender and identity and, above all, they showed evidence of the critical thinking and self-reflection that is needed to succeed at third level.

Today, 10 of these students will be offered places to study Law in Trinity, another 10 will be offered places to study History, and more will be offered places on Ancient and Medieval History and Culture. These students may have not made the CAO points total - the Law students were all within 70 points of the final total, the History students were within 150 points - but they did show evidence of academic ability and potential that was not captured by the Leaving Certificate, and they did convince us that they were exactly the kinds of students we want in our classrooms.

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