More than 52,000 students receive CAO offers

Points requirements have decreased for areas such as teaching, engineering and nursing

More than 52,000 students receive CAO offers

The 11,000sq metre student centre at University College Dublin. Picture by: Julien Behal/PA Archive/PA Images

Updated 11.35

More than 52,000 applicants have received their first round CAO offers this morning.

The system has been revamped for the first time in 25 years, with changes to the grading and points system.

Applicants have until this day next week to accept their offers.

Data compiled by the Irish Times shows that points have dropped for more than half of all honours degree courses - with areas such as teaching and nursing among those with lower requirements this year.

Points for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees are also down.

In contrast, points have increased elsewhere, including for many courses in areas such as law and architecture.

Joseph O’ Grady, CAO General Manager, said: “It is extremely important that applicants notify CAO immediately if there are any errors or omissions in any of the correspondence received from CAO. They must make sure to do this well in advance of the next offer round to allow any corrections to be considered in subsequent offer rounds.

"Last year over 99 per cent of applicants accepted their offers online, and we expect that this figure will be similar this year."

Trinity College in Dublin said around 3,400 places at the university are being offered today, with college officials saying demand is high for courses such as business, law, and medicine.

Professor Chris Morash of Trinity College explained: “We welcome the impetus behind the new points system, and finding a better match between second and third level. This year we have seen a bigger pool of eligible applicants coming through the system.

"I see this as a first step to reforming education in Ireland, and look forward to continuing to find more effective ways for students to enter third level institutions in Ireland.”

Philip Nolan, President of Maynooth University, spoke to The Pat Kenny Show in the wake of this morning's first-round offers and the new points system.

He argued: "[Points] are no more up nor down than they are in any previous year - points also fluctuate because of supply & demand.

"In a way, it's a very positive story - this very new system has been introduced without a very significant disruption of engagement between the student and the CAO."

Sandrin Tauro from Coolock in Dublin got her first choice, in Aerospace Engineering in IT Carlow.

She explained that she was 'chuffed' when she checked her offers early this morning: