Saturday 20 October 2018

CAO applicants to UCD who get late offer after Leaving Certificate appeals released tomorrow will get their place this year - but only if space is available

University College Dublin
University College Dublin
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

CAO applicants to University College Dublin (UCD) who get a late offer after the results of Leaving Certificate appeals are released tomorrow will get their place this year - but only if space is available.

UCD’s Academic Council Executive Committee has agreed to extend the September 30 offers deadline introduced this yea, in order to offer places to upgraded students if there is spare capacity on the course in question.

The decision, which was expected, follows the High Court ruling in the case of Rebecca Carter, the Co Wexford student who successfully sought the results of a recheck of a Leaving Cert paper ahead of the normal release date in order to beat the September 30 deadline.

About 60 UCD CAO applicants are expected to receive a belated offer this week. Many may have settled into other courses and may not be interested in switching.

UCD stated: “For incoming students for the academic year 2018/2019, the University will offer place to upgraded students if there are places are available on 10th October in the course in which they are now entitled.

“Cognisant that the University will be six weeks into semester, these students may choose to join the course or to defer with a guarantee that they will have a place on this course next year, regardless of any subsequent upward movement in points.

“Where courses are at capacity, the University will offer deferrals to the academic year 2019/2020 as is consistent with the current practice across the sector.”

While the SEC argues that it needs until October 10 to process appeals and meet its quality assurance standards, UCD is of the view that a student is seriously disadvantaged starting a course six week late. There has been a trend in recent years of third-level colleges starting in the first week of September, rather than later in the month.

UCD stated that students who get a late offer this week should consider:

  • Orientation week started on 3 September and lectures, classes, laboratories, tutorials, projects and practicals on 10 September. Consequently these students have missed almost half of the first semester as well as academic advisory meetings, social and orientation meetings and other events organised for first years.
  • The first weeks of the semester contain important foundational material in many programmes and components important for the students' transition to University academic life.
  • Many elective and optional modules are now full so the spread of choice available in August is no longer available.
  • End of semester exams take place in December and many continuous assessments, which contribute towards stage 1 (first year) results, have already taken place.
  • A high proportion of students who join their course so late in the year have difficulty in making up for what they have missed and do not successfully complete their modules. A late start is not accepted as grounds for appeal of assessment results.

The Rebecca Carter case has led to urgent talks between the Department of Education, the State Examinations Commission (SEC) and the higher education institutions to avoid a similar controversy in future years.

UCD has published September 30 as its offers deadline for next year, but said it would actively engage with the talks process “to develop options that seek to ensure that the circumstances raised by the High Court case are not repeated”.

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