52,000 students get CAO offers today

About 52,000 applicants will receive offers of places at third level from the CAO today.

Changes to both the points and Leaving Cert grading systems have contributed to fluctuations in the points requirements for the majority of courses - reports rte.ie

While points are down for more than half of all courses, in the case of around 40% they have risen.

Many STEM-related courses have seen a fall in their points requirement.

The points for general science degrees are down at UCD, Trinity College, DIT and NUIM for instance.

The points for many engineering-related courses are also down, considerably.

General Engineering is down by 44 points at NUIG, by 36 points at UCD, and by 30 at Trinity College.

These decreases follow a drop earlier this year in the number of students applying to courses in many STEM areas.

It reverses a trend seen in recent years which saw demand, and the points for such courses, rising steadily.

This year's fall in demand will be of concern to Government and to others working to promote areas such as science and technology as positive career choices for school students.

Other areas that have seen a drop in their points requirement include nursing and teaching.

At DCU, nursing is down 25 points.Trinity, UCD and UCC have also seen a fall in the points required for their nursing courses.

This, too, is largely the result of a reduction in applications.

Applications to nursing courses fell by 5% this year.

This may be due to concerns around low pay for new entrants to the profession, as well as difficulties securing jobs.

Primary teaching has seen points fall for the second year running.

Teaching is another area where low pay for new entrants has been the subject of much recent controversy.

Primary teaching at Maynooth University is down by ten points.

DCU's main primary teaching course, the former St Patrick's College course, is down by three points to 462, while the points required of DCU teaching applicants who are Protestant has fallen by 15 points, to 420.

This is the second year that DCU will offer primary teaching applicants two separate entry routes, based on the applicant's religion, for what is largely the same course.

This is because courses formerly offered by separate Catholic and Protestant controlled colleges have now been absorbed into DCU.

The Mary Immaculate primary teaching course in Limerick has seen a modest one point rise in its points.

Many business courses have seen a rise in their points.

Commerce at UCD is up by five, and by seven at NUIG.

Business, Economic and Social Studies at Trinity College is up by ten points.

There are always a number of factors that contribute to points changes year-on-year.

They include the popularity of an area of study, as well as the number of places available.

But this year's changes to both the Leaving Certificate grading system and the points scale will certainly have added to the many changes points rises and falls seen this year.

The deadline for acceptance of offers is next Monday.

Read other news on the city site of Dublin.

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