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Number of late CAO offers more than doubles

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(stock photo)

(stock photo)

(stock photo)

The number of late CAO offers made to Leaving Cert candidates who were awarded a results upgrade has more than doubled to 594.

It follows an almost doubling in applications for exam rechecks after major changes to the appeals process and, in turn, a doubling in the number of successful appeals to 2,916.

The overhaul of the appeals system, including a shorter timeframe for the outcomes to be delivered, came about as a result of the High Court action by Rebecca Carter last year.

In that case, the Co Wexford student successfully argued she should not have to defer a place in UCD for a year because the university was closing for registration before the appeal results - in which she was confident of success - were due.

The CAO offers made on Friday saw students getting a place on a higher preference course, in many cases their top choice. In some cases it would have been their first offer.

Overwhelmingly, students receiving a late offer were given the option of taking up the place this year, but, on Friday, 35 of the 594 were asked by the college to defer for a year. That is down 70pc from 110 in 2018.

Contacts between the Department of Education and the universities over the weekend have seen the 35 figure reduced to six and efforts to accommodate the students are ongoing in at least one of those cases.

Arguments put forward by the universities for not accepting a late entrant for the current academic year were generally related to space.

Higher Education Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor welcomed the intensive work since last Friday by the universities and their admissions offices to accommodate these 35 students.

She said she was "very aware students worked incredibly hard for their exam results, and I do not want them penalised in any way, through no fault of their own".

Irish Independent


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