Higher Education Institutions are autonomous within the meaning of the Universities Act 1997, the Institutions of Technology Acts 1992 to 2006 and the Technological Universities Act 2018. Under this legislation the institutions are academically independent and are entitled to regulate their own academic affairs, including in relation to requirements to progress from one year to the next. It is not within my remit to intervene in such matters.
It is my understanding that in previous years applicants to this course were required to have their full C1 license prior to entering the course, and that the requirement to have their license by the end of year 1 constitutes an allowance in light of the restricted test appointments available at the moment. If, when we are nearing the end of the 2021/2022 academic year, students have been unable to gain an opportunity to pass their drivers test I would encourage them to engage with their course co-ordinator in order to ascertain what options are available to them.