Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (553)

Seán Haughey


553. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science if the CAO and HPAT closing dates can be extended for students who sat the leaving certificate in November 2020 in order that any improved grades obtained by them can be taken into account, which could allow them to commence undergraduate courses requiring higher points in September and October 2021; if their change of mind with regard to inclusion of courses can be facilitated given that they performed better than they expected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7921/21]

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Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

The CAO process applications for undergraduate, and some postgraduate, courses on behalf of the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Decisions on admissions, including deadlines for submissions of applications, are made by the HEIs who then instruct the CAO in this matter.

The HPAT is independently administered by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) on behalf of the universities’ medical schools and RCSI. The selection criteria and process for admission to medical schools is a matter for those institutions in line with their statutory autonomy in relation to academic affairs. Neither I nor my Department have a role in the administration or running of the CAO or HPAT, and I do not determine the application deadlines in relation to either of them.

Students whose November Leaving Certificate results entitled them to a higher preference offer based on their 2020 CAO application will have received a deferred offer to start their course in the 2021/22 academic year. Such offers are part of the 2020 application cycle, and therefore will be based on the 2020 CAO points.

Students who wish to make a fresh application for the 2021 CAO cycle may do so if they have not already applied. Although the initial deadline for CAO applications has passed, the late application facility will be open from 5th March to 1st May, allowing students to apply for all non-restricted courses. It is my understanding that late applications for restricted courses will not be accepted, as these deadlines are in place to allow the necessary assessments such as interviews, portfolio assessments or the HPAT to take place.