Tuesday 21 November 2017

20,000 CAO applicants won't get any offer as demand soars

John Walshe Education Editor

A record 20,000 applicants will not get a single offer from the CAO this year.

Sky-high levels of applications and acceptances have cut the number of offers available on the second round, which is published later today.

No offers are being made on the majority of courses -- and where there they are made, only a handful of places are available.

The second round will bring disappointment to those hoping to get into college to ride out the economic storm and acquire qualifications to better their job prospects. The number of applicants getting offers for the first time today is only 1,434, compared with 2,095 last year and 3,000 the year before. Of those getting offers for the first time, some 860 are being offered places on honours programmes.

This year saw a surge of applications to college, reaching the 77,628 mark compared with 74,621 last year. The applications total saw a big increase in mature applicants.

Many colleges have created additional places to cater for the rising demand.

To date 43,385 people have accepted offers, which is up more than 1,000 at the end of round one last year. Every year sees thousands of applicants who do not get any offer, either because they do not get pass in maths -- which is are a requirement for so many courses in the institute of technology sector -- or because they do not get sufficient points for the courses they have listed.


This year, however, the number failing to get an offer has tipped the 20,000 mark for the first time.

But it's not all bad news as today's second round sees welcome drops in points required for some courses. For instance, there is some welcome news for nursing applicants. In UCD and Trinity there were point drops of five or 10 points in psychiatric, children and general nursing, and midwifery.

NUI Galway's general nursing course dropped five points to 445 on random selection. Meanwhile, other healthcare courses such as occupational therapy dropped five points to 500; while speech and language therapy went down 10 to 500 on random selection.

Law courses show some point drops of five or 10 in some UCD courses, with the points for BCL Maitrise dropping from 530 to 500. Trinity's law and business dropped from 555 on random to 550, while law and French dropped from 570 to 555 on random selection.

But there were no point drops in medicine, with the exception of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland where it dropped two points to 721.

Despite the overall reduction in offers, there are still vacancies on 146 courses where there are not enough applicants.

Most of the vacancies are in engineering and business courses. And while many are in the private colleges sector, a number are also in the public colleges, particularly the institutes of technology.

Irish Independent

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