Too many courses on offer - third level chief
The "bewildering range" of third-level courses on offer has been attacked by the chief executive of the Higher Education Authority (HEA).
Tom Boland criticised the "lamentably slow and even contradictory" response from some universities to accept what is now official policy of fewer entry routes to college.
At honours degree level alone, there are almost 950 courses on the CAO - 15 years ago there were 220 cases available.
The HEA chief executive said it caused school-leavers additional pressures and, in some cases, led to them choosing an option they later regretted.
A shift towards broader first-year offerings was intended to simplify choice, while allowing students to specialise a year or two later.
Mr Boland, who was speaking at a debate in Trinity College Dublin, also took universities to task over the low numbers of students they have from disadvantaged communities.
He said they were perceived as "alien places to thousands of families" and one of the great challenges facing Ireland was meaningful equity of access to higher education.