Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (239)

Willie O'Dea


239. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on the case of a person (details supplied) as an example of delays in rechecking leaving certificate examination results; the steps he is taking in regard to accelerating the rechecking process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8171/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Universities and Institutes of Technology in Ireland are statutorily independent institutions. Admission is a matter for each individual institution and my Department does not have the authority to intervene in the admissions process.

I understand that the practice in a number of Higher Education Institutions in relation to candidates with successful Leaving Certificate appeals is to consider each on a case-by-case basis, with consideration given to the availability of a place on a relevant course in the current academic year and also the best interests of the student.

Where a student becomes eligible for a particular course arising from a successful appeal, and a place is not available in the current year or it is considered not in the student's best interest to join the course during the current year, the student is entitled to a deferred place for the following academic year. The holding of an offer of a place, or a deferred place is contingent on a student engaging with an institution.

My Department has been in contact with the Institution in question (LIT) and have confirmed that the policy at LIT is as above; contingent upon the student officially deferring the place and then reapplying in the normal way in order to obtain their place without regard to the points required that year.

My Department has ascertained that the student in question was indeed successful in gaining an offer on her chosen course as a result of a Leaving Certificate recheck. The admissions office of LIT wrote to her on 11 October 2018 advising her to either accept the offer by 17 October, or to revert to the admissions office if she wished to defer. The student did not accept her place with CAO or request a deferral of her place.

The admissions office has further advised that the student in question has re-applied to the CAO for the coming academic year however, she has not re-applied for the same course. Therefore, she will be on the waiting lists for her chosen courses and will have to meet the cut-off points and entry requirements to be issued with an offer in August 2019.

With regard to the steps being taken in relation to the accelerating the recheck process, on 1 November, 2018 I announced changes agreed regarding the Leaving Certificate examination appeals process. In 2019, the Central Applications Office (CAO) will issue Round One offers to this year’s CAO applicants on Thursday, 15 August 2019, 4 days ahead of previous years. The accelerated offer schedule will facilitate improvements to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) appeals schedule, and will result in the expected release of Leaving Certificate Appeal results in the week beginning 16 September 2019. This is three weeks earlier than prior years.