Leaving Certificate results may delay college start for first-year students

The chair of the CAO has called on government to provide clarity on the release of results

The release of this year’s Leaving Certificate results may cause a delay to the start of the academic year for first-year students for a third consecutive year.

Higher education representatives were today informed by government that there are “logistical challenges” in finalising a date for the release of Leaving Certificate results, according to RTÉ News.

The potential for these delays to arise comes as a consequence of the need to allow students with Covid-19 to sit deferred exams later in the summer.

In a Tweet, Provost Linda Doyle said: “We need certainty about when #LeavingCert results and CAO offers come out.”

She added: “Lack of certainty is unfair on students and unfair on third level institutions planning for the coming academic year.”

The chair of the Central Applications Office (CAO) called on Minister for Education Norma Foley and Minister for Higher and Further Education Simon Harris to provide clarity around the release of Leaving Certificate results.

Appearing on RTÉ’s News At One programme, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh called on government to confirm the date results will be issued “as a matter of urgency”.

“The CAO and higher education institutions also have major operations to organise, and the lack of clarity is inhibiting proper planning of the admissions process,” Ó Dochartaigh said.

He continued: “We wish to ensure the approximately 50,000 students who will enter first year this autumn will do so in September and have the full higher education experience available to them.”

The CAO is a non-governmental body responsible for coordinating applications to undergraduate courses in Irish higher education institutions.

Leaving Certificate results are ordinarily issued in mid-August, with students receiving CAO offers in the following days. However, in 2020 and 2021 results were delayed until September, due to delays relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the past two years, delays to the release of Leaving Certificate results have led first-year students in Trinity to begin classes later than other undergraduate years.

In 2020/21, this meant that the majority of first year exams took place after the Christmas break, and Junior Fresh students did not have a reading week in Michaelmas term. This year, teaching in first semester was shortened for Junior Fresh modules so that exams could be held prior to Christmas.

This article was updated on 17 May 2022 to include a comment from Provost Linda Doyle.

David Wolfe

David Wolfe is a Junior Sophister student of History and Political Science. He is News Editor of Trinity News, having previously served as Assistant News Editor and as copyeditor.