There could be extra college places available to Irish students this year, despite uncertainty over the staging of the Leaving Certificate exams.
That is the view of a leading education expert.
Education Minister Joe Mc Hugh has indicated he wants the State exam to begin on July 29th.
Several alternatives to holding the exams have been floated, including a predictive grading system for students based off previous work.
But Minister McHugh sid this is not being considered as an option due to any risk of bias.
While no concrete timetable has been released, education columnist Brian Mooney told Pat Kenny that the shake-up could be good for students.
He said with fewer - or potentially no - international students likely to come here, there will be more opportunities for students waiting to get in.
"The bottom line is students are actually in a better position than they actually realise.
"The bottom line is the colleges need them, and they actually desperately need them this year - and there's a real silver lining in this for students - in that the international students aren't going to be there this year.
"Up to 25% of places go to international students, so there's a huge issue now here for the HEA [Higher Education Authority].
"The HEA obviously pays colleges for every student that they approve to be taken into the colleges.
"There maybe a big, political issue here coming up as to whether we can now decide - because there will not be international students this year - that there are going to be additional places.
"Because places are there in the lecture halls for Irish students to replace the international students funded at the same level as other Irish students are.
"So we may be actually able to create places".