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CAO applications show drop in languages, arts and agriculture

A total of 72,973 applications were received by CAO by the due date on 1 February.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

A TOTAL OF 72,973 applications were received by the Central Applications Office (CAO) by the due date of 1 February this year, a decrease of 61 on last year. 

Of this number, 7,273 applications came from students who were over 23 years of age – down 560 (-7.1%) applications from last year. 

The figures for different categories show increases and decreases for interest in different course categories. 

There was a significant decrease in people applying for Journalism & Information courses from 1,994 last year to 1,619 in 2020 (a drop of 19%). Meanwhile, there was a 43% jump in people applying for Transport Services courses, up to 297 applications. 

In terms of first preferences, there were 4,372 for Languages (a 5% decrease) and 3,070 for Mathematics (up 5%). 

A total of 34,070 people applied for Arts courses, marking a 5% decrease on the previous year. 

Agriculture also saw a decrease in applications from 1,919 last year to 1,769 (a difference of 8%). 

There was a jump in the number of people applying for Pharmacy, from 2,090 to 2,251 – an 8% rise. Primary and Secondary Education courses also saw a slight rise each of 2%. 

Meanwhile, 7,252 applicants indicated they wished to be considered for Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) – an increase of 4% on last year.

A total of 11,066 applicants indicated they wished to be considered for The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) – a decrease of 1.5% from 2019.

Data at this stage on applications is subject to change when Late Applications are taken into account and when the Change of Mind facility closes on 1 July.

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