I propose to take Questions Nos. 644 and 645 together.
The specific information sought by the Deputy in relation to the number of students who started on national certificate courses is not available in my Department and would involve an inordinate amount of time to assemble. My Department does, however, have data on the number of first year students taking certificate or diploma courses in each of the institutes of technology. These statistics are detailed in the following table.
In relation to the number of students accepted on national certificate courses on the basis of having five Ds on pass papers this information is not available in my Department. Applications for places on national certificate courses are made through the central applications office – CAO. The CAO is an agent for and acts on behalf of the higher education institutions participating in the CAO system and data in relation to applicants are held by the CAO.
Number of first year students in institutes of technology, Killybegs HTC and Tipperary Rural Business and Development Institute taking diploma-certificate courses.