CAO Points For Some Courses Set To Significantly Drop This Year

CAO Points For Some Courses Set To Significantly Drop This Year

As the first round of the CAO comes to a close, early percentages indicate there is a significant drop in the number of students applying for courses in Ireland.

According to the CAO, teaching has become the most in-demand course. Both primary and secondary degree programmes have seen a surge in CAO applications. Primary teaching is up 8% and secondary is up 4%.

Numbers for nursing, construction, business, and law continue to grow but there's a 16% drop in the number of applicants for information and communication technology courses, despite being a field that offers a higher salary. The changes to this percentage may be due to a change in the CAO system which means courses have been recategorised elsewhere.

Overall, CAO applications are down 5%. including a 12% drop in the number of mature students.  The 72,643 applications to the CAO by February 1 was a decrease of 3,443 on 2017. ITs will see the biggest drop in applicants for level 6 and 7 courses as the number of applicants have fallen by 11%. Applications for honours degrees are down 4% overall.

Experts indicate that the reason for the drop is down to economic recovery and as more jobs are available fewer people are attending college or back to education programmes. Apprenticeship numbers have also risen which can account for a drop in applications to level 6 and 7 courses.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Trinity College Dublin vice-provost Prof Chris Morash said:

When employment rises, applications to third level drop as more students go directly into work...So from one perspective the figures are the barometer of a healthy economy.It also means that it is probable that points may fall for some subjects.

University College Dublin (UCD) continues to be a popular college for Leaving Cert students with an increase of first preferences for Level 8 up 14%. DCU will see the biggest growth in teaching courses with a 6% increase in first preferences. Applications can enter or amend choices between May 5 and July 1 which means the 6,084 applicants who have not yet listed their preferences may change the current trends.

Also Read: Breaking: Government Reveal Proposed Wording To Replace The 8th Amendment


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Garret Farrell

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