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CAO points for most college courses surge with some seeing 80-point hikes, new figures show

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CAO points for entry into most college courses have increased significantly this year, new figures show

Grade inflation in this year’s Leaving Cert results has seen CAO points rise up to 70 or 80 points at the very top end.

Overall, points are up for about three quarters of honours degree or level eight courses this year.

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At university level, many have recorded average points increases of between 20 and 30 points across a broad range of courses.

In addition, several university course have climbed above the previous high of 600 points.

They include two at UCD – economics & finance (613, up 12 points ) and actuarial & financial studies (601, up 24 points) – and four at Trinity College Dublin (management science &Information Systems Studies (613, +24 points); dental science (613, +23 points); law and business (602, +26 points) and law and political science (602, +35 points).

In all, about 78 per cent of college applicants are understood to have received an offer from one of their top-three choices this year at honours degree or level eight level. This is a similar proportion to last year.

This rises to about 98 per cent for applicants seeking a top three choice at ordinary degree/advanced diploma, or level six/seven.

Most higher education figures say the points increases are greater than expected , despite frantic efforts by the Government to ease upward pressure by creating thousands of extra third-level places.

However, Government figures say the points increases would have been higher still were it not for a last-minute move to create an additional 2,000-plus third level places created in recent weeks.

In all, there are 12 per cent more places this year compared to last as a result.

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris said these additional places mean significantly more applicants have received offers of places at this stage this year and more students will be admitted to college in the coming weeks than in any previous year.

“I do recognise the strong competition for places this year. I have worked with the sector to increase places to the greatest extent possible. I welcome the fact that the proportion of applicants receiving an offer of one of their top three preferences is stable between years, despite this strong competition,” he said.

All CAO applicants can check to see if they have received an offer by logging on to their account using the ‘My Application’ facility at www.cao.ie from 2pm.

Successful applicants will also receive an offer notification via email and a text message if they have selected this option on their application form. Offers must be accepted by 3pm on Wednesday, September 16th.

At Trinity, around 80 per cent of courses saw a points rise, with an average increase of 27 points.

The biggest single jump was drama and theatre studies (564, +69), a course which at the centre of media attention due to number of actors who appeared in the Normal People TV series.

At UCD, points were up across the board with the exception of arts.

The biggest increases were for midwifery (480, +80), social policy & sociology (378, +58), and physiotherapy (578, + 56).

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