Sunday 25 August 2019

Universities can't guarantee a place this year if student upgraded on appeal

Trinity College
Trinity College
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Universities are not giving any blanket guarantee that students who appeal their exam grades and get a late CAO offer in September are assured a place this year.

Colleges say that, depending on the course, they may not be able to accommodate the student in 2019/20 and will ask them to defer for a year.

This is despite last year's High Court ruling in the Rebecca Carter case which has seen a speeding up in the results, CAO offers and appeals process this year.

Ms Carter challenged the State Examinations Commission's (SEC) decision not to recheck her results in time to allow her to obtain a place in veterinary medicine in UCD.

The spirit of Mr Justice Humphreys's ruling was that a student who received an offer on foot of an upgrade should gain entry in the current year.

The SEC overhauled its processes to ensure that appeals outcomes are announced in mid-September rather than October. Late CAO offers are due on September 20.

But the University of Limerick is alone among the universities in giving an unqualified commitment that such students will get a place in 2019/20.

UCD's deputy president and registrar, Professor Mark Rogers, said while they would make every effort to admit qualifying late students, "we will not hold back places specifically for Leaving Certificate appeals as this could deprive other qualifying students from legitimate offers".

He said the subjects more likely to have pressure on places included high-demand courses with clinical placement requirements such as medicine and veterinary medicine, and studio courses such as architecture.

Trinity College Dublin said "where a student receives an upgrade we will do our best to accommodate them".

Dublin City University said "candidates receiving a CAO offer on a DCU programme following an upgrade will be invited to register for that programme in the academic year 2019/20. In a very small number of instances where the decision is not solely under DCU's control every effort will be made by DCU to facilitate registration in 2019/ 2020."

NUIG Galway said it would "do its best to accommodate such students on the courses of their choice".

UCC said it would "endeavour to register candidates in 2019 who, based on the outcome of a recheck, become eligible for an offer".

"However, in some cases where the programme in question is full to capacity, UCC may only be able to offer the option to defer the place to start in 2020," it said.

A spokesperson for Maynooth University said they would do "their utmost" to accommodate appeals students.

Irish Independent

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