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It's official - the more points you get in your Leaving the more likely you are to get through college

“Those entering with lower points are much more likely to not progress compared to those entering with higher points,” a new report claims.

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THE MORE POINTS you get in your Leaving Cert the more likely you are to stay the course in college, a new report claims.

The study, released by the Higher Education Authority, suggests that ‘prior academic attainment’ is the strongest indicator possible as to how well a student will do when stepping up to a university course.

“Those entering with lower points are much more likely to not progress compared to those entering with higher points,” the report claims.

Altogether, for the academic year 2014/2015 on which the results are based, 86% of first year undergraduates made it to second year, compared to 85% the previous year.

The student most likely to make it into second year at third level is a female studying education or healthcare, with relatively high Leaving Cert points, compared with the student most likely not to make it through – a male with low Leaving points and studying a Level 6 or Level 7 course in computer science, construction, or engineering.

Worryingly, rates of non-progression (this phrase is used so as to acknowledge that there are myriad reasons for a student not to finish a year, other than because they ‘dropped out’) are twice as high for students from disadvantaged schools (19%) compared with just 10% for students in fee-paying schools.

Regarding these statistics, Graham Love, CEO of the HEA, said:

We have an education system that is committed to access and to equality but it is still clear that a student from a financially better off background and who may have been able to attend a fee-paying school has an advantage over those from less well-off backgrounds.

Non-completion rates for Irish higher education courses hover between 25% and 27% for levels 6 and 7 qualifications at the institutes of technology, and between 8% and 15% at ITs, universities and colleges for degree courses.

The highest levels of non-progression are 23% for construction and related disciplines.

For specific professions, medicine has the lowest level of non-completion in the country at just 2%, and architecture has the highest level at 20%, or one in five.

Oddly enough, in the ITs, mature students are more likely to make it to the next year of study than under-23s, with the opposite being true in the colleges and universities.

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