Minister for Higher and Further Education Simon Harris has announced in the Dáil that he will be making another 800 college places available this year.
ℹ️ Higher Education minister Simon Harris has told the Dáil he is making a further 800 college places available this year, on top of the 1250 announced last week, to try and ease the effect of CAO points inflation
— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) September 9, 2020
The rationale behind the move is to ease the effect of CAO points inflation caused by the Leaving Cert's calculated grades system.
Harris had previously announced that he had secured an additional 1,250 places for this year's Leaving Cert class, although that was announced before the Leaving Cert results were released.
This measure was taken due to CAO offers being issued to students on Friday.
Whilst speaking in the Dáil, Harris said that securing these additional places was done in the hope that it would relieve pressure on students who are unsure of whether they will get their preferred option in course.
"Through the engagement we've had with the HEA and all the institutions, I can now confirm there will be a further 800 additional college place on top of 1250 we announced last week. I do hope we will go someway in relieving pressure.
"Higher grades will result in higher points there are no two ways about that but the most practical sensible thing we can do is provide as many college places as possible."
Due to the historic nature of this year's Leaving Cert, CAO points for courses are expected to soar due to a host of factors.
Record high grades, coupled with the prospect of Irish students preferring domestic courses rather than going abroad due to COVID-19, will see fierce competition for places.