USI say late Leaving Certificate results will have a significant “negative impact”

The statement follows yesterday’s announcement that results will be released on September 2

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has said that the late release of Leaving Certificate results will have a “negative impact” on new third-level students.

The national union for third-level students welcomed government’s clarification of when Leaving Certificate results will be released, but were critical of the timeline announced by the Department of Education.

Regarding the announcement, USI Deputy President and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Megan O’Connor said: “This date – almost a month later than usual – is going to have a significant negative impact on students and higher education institutions across the country.”

“It will have a hugely disruptive effect on students’ learning with the possibility of a shorter, more condensed first semester for first year students, who will probably lose out on reading weeks or institutions may have to delay first semester assessments until after the Christmas break.”

USI has also demanded that this year’s Leaving Certificate students are afforded the time and opportunity to appeal their grades and consider second and third-round offers.

They claim that there will be an “incredibly tight timeline” between results and the beginning of the academic year, with some students likely to face the choice of “beginning college at orientation with their classmates or waiting for an appeal to try and gain entry into a higher preference course”.

USI also highlighted the accommodation crisis, stating that this delta will “put further pressure on students and their families”.

“Over the past few years, we have seen students sleeping in cars and commuting up to six hours each day to attend their classes, because of the lack of affordable accommodation,” it said.

This is the third consecutive year that Leaving Certificate results will be released in September rather than mid-August as was usual before the pandemic. Last month, government was called on to provide clarity around the release of results, with concerns raised that delayed results would delay the start of the college year.

This year is the first year since 2019 that Leaving Certificate exams have gone ahead in their traditional form, uninterrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Exams are currently underway with the last due to take place on June 28.