Record 38,000 take up CAO offers
Enthusiastic students have snapped up more than 38,000 college places in the past week.
When the deadline for decisions on CAO Round One offers released to 50,838 applicants passed yesterday evening, 38,239 had accepted. That is up almost 3,000, from 36,392, at the same time in 2010
The figure means that three in four CAO applicants who received a Round One offer, have taken the place, on top of earlier acceptances by other groups, such as mature students.
So far, a total of 45,264 college places have been filled, up from 44,289 this time last year,
This is a record year for CAO applications, offers, and, now, acceptances - reflecting population growth, the rise in the number of students going on to sit the Leaving Certificate and increasing demand for a third-level qualification.
Figures released by the CAO also reveal the continuing growth in popularity of Level 8, "honours" degree programmes, with 34,443 acceptances to date for these courses, up from 33,066 at this time last year.
Meanwhile, the numbers accepting Level 7/6 (ordinary degree/ higher certificate) courses was down to 10,821 from 11,223. There is concern about the decline in popularity of Level 7/6 courses, an issue that is being addressed in efforts to reform the higher education system.
The next stage in the CAO process is the release of Round Two offers on cao.ie at 6a.m on Thursday.
CAO general manager Joe O'Grady said applicants who had accepted a second or lower preference course in Round One may still receive an offer of a higher preference course on Thursday, or in a subsequent offer round.
'If an applicant is deemed eligible for a course in a later offer round, dependent on their position on the 'Order of Merit list', they may be made an offer which they can either accept or ignore" he said.
Courses experiencing a significant growth in demand from students this year included business, construction and computing.
The record number of offers made in Round One was, in part, related to the opening up of more places on computing courses in a bid to address difficulties experienced by industry in filling jobs in the information technology areas.