Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has urged students “not to panic” as the closing date for Irish third-level applications approaches.
Speaking yesterday, Harris recommended that final-year second-level students consider all their options ahead of the February 1 deadline, calling it the “first milestone on their route to their chosen career approaches”.
He encouraged students not to take it to heart if they do not receive their desired outcomes. Emphasising the many paths forward, he said: “Education is a lifelong journey, and there is a huge range of options for you to develop knowledge and skills, and achieve your full potential.”
Harris continued: “It may be that you are determined to go to university, and that is a very worthy aspiration, but there are a wide range of third level options available.”
“Within the further education sector, post Leaving Cert courses as well as traineeships, combining classroom education and hands-on work experience, are run by education and training boards.”
“Apprenticeships can also deliver incredible career opportunities, while also offering you the chance to earn and learn at the same time,” Harris added.
CAO offers, which determine university admission in Ireland, typically release in mid-August. However, in 2022 the release date for Round One offers was delayed to 8 September because of the late release of Leaving Cert results for the third consecutive year.
According to government, last year over half of all CAO applicants received their first-choice offer.
Overall, there was an increase of 2,000 CAO offers compared to the previous year, while offers for Level 8 courses, the highest qualification level, were up by 2,269.
82% of students were offered one of their top three choices of course, up from 79% in 2021.
Harris reiterated that despite the deadline’s evident importance, students need not worry: “We have something for everyone, no matter your age, part time or full time, one year or four year course, and remain aware that if you don’t get your first choice, there are almost always alternative pathways available.”