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CAO points to drop as demand dips but teaching is still one of the most popular courses in Ireland

There were 72,643 applications by 1 February – a decrease of 3,443 applicants on the previous year.
Mar 9th 2018, 7:18 AM 31,786 100

STATISTICS RELEASED BY the CAO have revealed that despite an overall drop in the number of applications for third-level study, the demand for teaching positions has increased significantly.

There was a total of 72,643 applications by 1 February -  a decrease of 3,443 applicants on the previous year.

There were 8,539 applications from those over 23 years of age – down 1,168 from 2017.

However, demand for primary teaching has shot up 5% with 2,783 putting it as their first preference. There was a 2% increase in the number of people wanting to study secondary teaching meaning that 1,781 potential students applied for this course as their first choice.

Level 8 degree courses which saw a considerable decline in demand include:

  • Journalism – down 17%
  • Arts – down 12%
  • Environment – down 20%
  • Physical Sciences – down 26%

Over 6,500 applicants indicated that they wish to be considered for the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) – an increase of 186 from last year.

The decrease of applicants is expected to make the points requirement for courses drop – essentially making it easier for students to get into third-level education.

Speaking about the application figures, communications officer for CAO, Eileen Keleghan, said the majority of CAO applicants will be allowed to use the ‘Change of Mind’ facility when it opens on 4 May to add, remove or re-order course choices.

“All CAO applicants will receive a Statement of Application Record before the end of May. This statement will contain details of important information held on file for the applicant – including course choices and examination details. Any errors or omissions identified in this document must be communicated to CAO immediately” she added.

Read: From Paralympians to mature students – Leaving Cert students come from all walks of life >

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Garreth MacNamee

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