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We’ve got to look at CAO system, but there might be nothing better – universities

IRISH universities have said there needs to be a reassessment of the CAO points system and its impact on teaching in secondary schools.

The Irish Universities Association (IUA) also warned that no alternative system will be perfect in a report published today.

A major one day conference on the issue is to be held tomorrow with the Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn and others addressing experts on the issue.

In their report, the IUA made a number of suggestions; one being the establishment of a quota that would be set aside for the top performing students in each school.

Another proposal is the setting up of a basic entry requirement for a greatly reduced number of foundation style first-year courses

Nine options are contained in the document but the universities stop short of recommending any of them.

Many academic and educational experts agree that the current method of college entry is damaging second-level education, stifling creativity and promoting teaching and learning by rote.

However no proposed system has been found to be viable alternative to the current one.