THE way is clear for the introduction of bonus points for higher level maths in the Leaving Certificate in 2012.
University College Cork (UCC) yesterday gave its conditional consent to the proposal, which will see the current crop of fifth years rewarded for taking the subject at higher level.
While a formal announcement is awaited from National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), the college has already indicated that it will go with the majority.
The five other universities and the Institutes of Technology have already given their backing to the scheme, intended as an incentive to students to sit the subject at higher level.
The main issues to be decided by the colleges now is exactly how they will apply the bonus points to Leaving Certificate maths grades, and for how long.
UCC said that it would introduce bonus points on a two-year trial, while both University College Dublin (UCD) and National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM) have proposed four years.
A meeting of the Irish Universities Association (IUA) next Monday is expected to agree an umbrella position.
UCC said its Academic Council took an evidence-based, principled decision not to support the introduction of bonus points, based on education grounds.
"However, in order to avoid the widespread confusion among students that would arise from a diverse sectoral approach, UCC will work with the other universities to agree on a bonus points scheme for implementation in 2012/13, for a trial period of two years," the college said.
During the trial period, the college will carry out an evaluation of the implications of the decision. "The results from this study will inform a review of the bonus points process and future decision-making," UCC said.
Like other colleges, UCC says it is imperative that measures are introduced to improve maths standards in second-level schools and stressed that "without such action on the part of Government, the desired enhancement of mathematical attainment will not be achieved".