Time for colleges to slow down points race
There are far too many college courses on offer through the Central Applications Office. And it can often be hard to distinguish between them. How many of us could tell the difference between computer and communications engineering, computer engineering in mobile systems, and computer applications? Yet we expect school-leavers to know when they fill in their CAO form.
The bewildering range is not confined to engineering. If the Olympics prompts a student to go for a sports career, they will 'only' have three-dozen courses to choose from.
The case for reducing the number of CAO options is unanswerable. Twenty years ago applicants had around 540 courses to choose from. That number had more than doubled to almost 1,300 in 2011 when then Education Minister Ruairi Quinn told the colleges it was time to call a halt. Far from slowing down, the number has increased to more than 1,400 this year.