Written Answers. - Third Level Entry.

Enda Kenny

Question:

1096 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Education and Science the facilities that exist for those who complete the applied leaving certificate to enter third level education; the numbers who have entered to date; the way in which he proposes to increase these numbers in future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20567/00]

The leaving certificate applied was introduced to schools in order to cater for students whose needs were not served by the established leaving certificate. The established leaving certificate remains the main qualification needed for entry to third level education.

However, leaving certificate applied graduates may proceed to study at institutes of technology by obtaining relevant NCVA level 2 qualifications at the end of a post leaving certificate, PLC, course.

Surveys commissioned by the NCCA, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, show that in 1998 22% and in 1999 23.3% of leaving certificate applied graduates proceeded to PLC courses. A number of these went on to study at third level, but to date no survey has been carried out on these numbers.

Considerable work is done with leaving certificate applied students in order to create awareness of the opportunities available to them. The possibility of continuing to third level is one of these. In November, 1999, the NCCA produced an opportunities update bulletin which outlined progression routes for leaving certificate applied students, including progression to further and higher education. Encouragement of leaving certificate applied students to progress to third level is one of the topics discussed by the leaving cer tificate applied steering committee which meets under the aegis of the NCCA.