11 September 2020
By Tom Collins
An additional 332 places will be available for a range of courses at UCC and CIT to assist students applying to college this year, Fine Gael TD Colm Burke has said.
Deputy Colm Burke said, “This year’s students faced a unique set of circumstances this year and the decision to provide students with Calculated Grades was taken with their best interests at heart.
“I know many parents and students were very concerned about the CAO offers coming out today and I’m pleased that my colleague, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, was able to provide 2,225 additional places overall to help alleviate the impact of the calculated grades.
“The additional places on offer in universities and institutes of technology are available for a diverse range of high-demand courses as part of a package of measures to support those applying to college in 2020.
“This is on top of 4,100 additional places the Government had already provided so that overall we have 12% more places this year than last year.
“Minister Harris has informed me that 332 additional places have been made available in UCC and CIT which I am particularly pleased about.
“The Government funded these additional places to help ease the pressure on the CAO system and I am reassured to see the outcomes today seem to show stability with last year.
“I want to congratulate everyone who received their hoped for offer today. I know like every year some people will be disappointed, but they may yet receive a later offer.
“After so much upheaval, it is very welcome to see thousands more people will get a college place this year than last year. In fact, more students will be admitted to college in the coming weeks than in any previous year,” Deputy Colm Burke said.
Minister Harris said it had been an immensely difficult year for students and he hoped the additional places will alleviate some of the pressure.
He said, “I do recognise the strong competition for places this year. I have worked with the sector to increase places to the greatest extent possible. I welcome the fact that the proportion of applicants receiving an offer of one of their top three preferences is stable between years, despite this strong competition.
“I also want to take this opportunity to remind students of the many and varied opportunities available to them as they prepare to take the next steps in their education. Developing new skills will be an ongoing process and the education sector offers multiple options to develop knowledge and skills.
“PLC courses and apprenticeships are just some of the options available and I encourage students to take some time to consider the pathway best suited to them. The Leaving Certificate student helpline, at 1800 265 165, which is provided by the National Parents Council post-primary is also available for students to reach a guidance counsellor with any queries that they may have.”