Monday 27 February 2017

Obsession with college entry points and university rankings will only intensify

John Walshe

Minister Jan OSullivan TD, Minister for Education and Skills addressing the Times Higher Education (THE) Young Universities Summit at DCU
Minister Jan OSullivan TD, Minister for Education and Skills addressing the Times Higher Education (THE) Young Universities Summit at DCU

Points and international rankings have become the new educational obsessions in Ireland in recent years. Students worry about if they have enough points for the course of their choice, while universities agonise over where they are in the latest world league tables.

Both are under increasing pressure to do better. The competition for places in college is intensifying as more students apply, meanwhile the universities are scrambling to see how they can get further up the rankings. The importance of both was brought home at two events attended by Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan yesterday.

It was all so much simpler years ago, when the results came out in August and students were asked: "How did you get on in the Leaving?" Now the question inevitably is: "How many points did you get?"

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