College offers will be released on September 7 at 2pm, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris has announced.
Harris received confirmation from the Central Applications Office (CAO) that first round offers to Irish higher education institutions will be issued four days after the Leaving Certificate results, which are to be released on September 3.
Applicants will have less than a week to accept round one offers. The CAO deadline to accept is September 13, at 3pm.
On Wednesday, Minister for Education Norma Foley announced that school leavers would receive their Leaving Certificate results on September 3.
This will be the second year that Leaving Certificate results and CAO offers are issued later than usual. Normally, results are issued in mid-August, with first round CAO offers made shortly afterwards.
The delay will force colleges to adjust start dates for first year undergraduate students, while it is expected that continuing undergraduate and postgraduate students will begin term as planned.
Colleges, including Trinity, have yet to confirm next year’s academic timetable, while Dublin City University (DCU) has announced that it would “revise its plans to welcome new first year students to campus”.
According to the Irish Times, higher education sources have said that first year orientation is likely to be delayed until September 20 or later.
It is unclear how colleges will accommodate students accepting later rounds of CAO offers.
Round two offers are expected to be issued on September 20, with round three on September 28, round four on October 5 and round five on October 12.
After the announcement on Wednesday that Leaving Certificate results would be delayed, Harris said that discussions had been held with the UK Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and with his European counterparts.
Yesterday on Twitter, Harris reiterated that “we will continue to work with colleges here and abroad to ensure timelines are all aligned & that new students don’t miss out”.
Eunicas, the CAO counterpart overseeing admissions to many European universities, said that it was working to ensure Irish students can start their programmes as normal, according to the Irish Times.
In the UK, offers to school leavers are made prior to results and are usually conditional, based on students’ predicted grades. Students can apply to five universities, but may only accept two offers, a first and insurance choice. When A level results are issued on August 10, UK students who meet the entry requirements will be able to confirm one of their choices.
Irish students applying through UCAS will be able to confirm their place when Leaving Certificate results are issued in September.