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Dublin: 15 °C Tuesday 18 June, 2019
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CAO offers: the main points

STEM is the new acronym of the day, standing for the popular-again subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Image: Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland

ALMOST 10,000 APPLICANTS had accepted college places through the CAO website as of 9am today.

About three quarters of Leaving Certificate students who had applied for Level 8 courses through the CAO system received offers for one of their top three preferences.

That number increased to 95 per cent for Level 6/7 courses. Altogether, a record number of students have been offered entry into third-level education.

As teenagers and parents awaited points and offers anxiously this morning, Joseph O’Grady, operations manager at CAO, advised them not to panic.

“Read the CAO handbook and forms that come by post carefully. Due to the large numbers of people involved, it can be difficult to reach the CAO by telephone or fax during the offer stage and so we invite people to get in touch with us by email through the website,” he said.

Students have until 27 August to accept first round offers.

Those who did not receive an offer in round one will get an email and postal notification confirming their status. Round two offers will be available from 30 August. From tomorrow, the ‘available places’ facility will open on the CAO website.

The CAO website has been “very busy” this morning, particularly between 6.10 and 6.30am but traffic has “eased significantly” since then.

In numbers:

  • 49,862 applicants will receive an offer in round one
  • 11,587 applicants were offered a course in the arts or social science
  • 6,512 applicants were offered a course in the sciences
  • 1,310 people were offered nursing courses
  • At 590 points, dentistry was one of the courses with the highest requirements. 64 places were offered
  • Over 500 applicants were offered places on Medicine courses, while 85 students will take up Veterinary Medicine studies
  • Points fell for 281 Level 8 (honours degree) courses but rose for 416
  • 101 courses saw their points levels unchanged

With the 25 bonus points awarded for Higher Level maths this year, it was expected that points for STEM courses would increase and that has been seen today.

Across the board, points for science, technology, engineering and maths courses increased with science courses breaking the 500 mark for the first time in Trinity College Dublin, NUI Galway and University College Dublin. Points for engineering and technology jumped as much as 70 points, while maths courses saw massive increases also.

The impact of the bonus points, however, does not seem to have spread to the arts or other studies not focused on maths.

Áine Hyland, a former Professor of Education, told Morning Ireland, that the system had, therefore, had the desired effect.

She also said that the higher cut-off points for STEM courses should see a fall in the number of people failing or dropping out. The biggest leap was seen in the University of Limerick’s Mathematics and Physics course which jumped from 390 to 535 points in the year.

Points for primary school teaching remained the same for NUI Maynooth (Froebel) and Mary Immaculate but fell by five points at St Pat’s in Drumcondra.

There was increased demand for nursing courses, with points rising by as much as 30 in Trinity College. Children’s and General Nursing in UCC increased to 525 (from 500 in 2011), while it was 515 in UCD (up from 500 last year).

Continuing the recessionary trend, points for building-related courses declined further while architecture studies remained relatively static.

Explainer: A beginner’s guide to the CAO Points system

Pics: Frustrated students take to Twitter as problems hit CAO website

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