1,000 additional college places required after calculated grades error

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris has told the Fine Gael parliamentary party that colleges could need to provide up to 1,000 additional places to facilitate students who received lower grades than they should have

1,000 additional college places may be needed for incoming students this year, following errors in the calculated grades system used to issue grades to thousands of Leaving Cert students in the beginning of September .

According to the Irish Times, Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris has told a meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party on Wednesday evening that the correction of the data error in the grades suggest that up to 1,000 extra places could be needed in colleges to facilitate the students whose grades were impacted.

Mr Harris continued to tell the meeting that the Central Applications Office (CAO) had confirmed that any student impacted would be “treated as a successful appeal” and that a place would be secured in college, if it is available. 

In this instance that there is no place available for the student whose grades are increased, Harris said he would put in place all resources necessary to fund extra college places.

Third level colleges are expected to meet on Friday to discuss ways of creating additional places for students in this position.

While some university sources told the Irish Times that there was “serious doubt” over whether additional places could be identified in high-demand courses, Provost Patrick Prendergast told Trinity News that Trinity will “do anything in our power to find places” for students whose Leaving Cert grades are upgraded. 

However, the provost added that College would only give extra offers “if those places are fully funded by government”.

Prendergast stated that “this is about helping those students awarded new grades”.

The error in the system may have impacted around 6,500 candidates according to government, leaving them with lower grades than they should have received in the first place. 

The exact number of students affected by this error will not be known for several days as rechecks into the errors continue over the course of the week. 

Shannon Connolly

Shannon Connolly is the Editor-in-Chief of the 69th volume Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister student of English Literature and Philosophy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.