CAO points have dropped for some courses because of the Government’s decision to fund more college places, Simon Harris has said.
Yesterday, tens of thousands of Leaving Certificate students found out their first round offer.
Overall, more students are getting their first choice and the Minister for Higher Education said this is a result of Government policy.
“We’re now beginning to see the benefit of putting in the extra college places,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.
“So, we increased the number of college places in key areas this year by 462.
“For example, we put 60 more medicine places in and, for the first time in a long number of years, we’re seeing medicine points falling.
“We’re seeing nursing points falling.
“So, I think this is having a real benefit; it used to be one in two got their first choice, it’s now three out of five and 85% of students now getting one of their top three choices yesterday.”
In previous years, places on a number of high demand courses were allocated by random selection and Minister Harris said that has happened less this year.
“We’ve worked very closely with other Departments - like the Department of Health - to identify where there’s key skills needs to try and match supply and demand a bit better,” he said.
“That has seen a number of courses that used to even go to random selection - you would get the points but you still weren’t guaranteed a place.
“That number has significantly reduced this year from 47 courses where there was random selection last year to just 17 this year.”
Second round offers will come out on September 11th.
Main image: The Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris. Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews