Failure to reform college courses fuels points race
Wide range of choices causing exam confusion
Colleges have not done enough to take the heat out of the CAO points race, according to a university president.
Maynooth University's Professor Philip Nolan says students still face too confusing a choice of CAO courses, despite a pledge to simplify the process.
As some 60,000 students await their Leaving Cert results on Wednesday, Prof Nolan said promised changes - which are supposed to be in place this autumn - are happening too slowly.
The proliferation of courses, including new ones with catchy titles, piles pressure on sixth-year students, who are driven by a mistaken belief that high-points courses are necessarily of better quality.
The Maynooth president said: "It is completely untrue to say that high points automatically mean a course is of a higher quality or that lower points courses are less worthwhile."
Prof Nolan is concerned universities are attracting students by using the CAO system as a "marketing tool". Despite a commitment to cut choice at point of entry and allow students to specialise in second or third year, the numbers of courses continues to grow.