An additional 332 places will be available for a range of courses at UCC and CIT to assist students applying to college this year, according to Fine Gael TD Colm Burke.
It comes as CAO points for entry into Cork college courses have increased significantly this year, new figures show.
Grade inflation in this year’s Leaving Cert results has seen CAO points rise up to over 80 points for some Cork-based courses as thousands of Leaving Cert students received their third level offers on Friday afternoon.
The 78,950 offers consisted of 47,162 Level 8 course offers and 31,788 Level 7/6 course offers.
Of the 64 level 8 courses on offer at University College Cork (UCC), 44 courses saw points increased, 11 saw points decreased, while just one course had points unchanged.
Six new or changed courses have been offered for the upcoming academic year and there were no offers in this round for two courses.
The largest increase in CAO points was seen in Law and French which increased by 89 points. Applicants require 542 points for a first round offer of a place on the course.
Law and Irish saw an increase of 78 points up from 462 points last year to 540 points.
Data Science and Analytics saw the lowest increase of just one point with a requirement of 510 points to secure a place.
The lowest decrease in points was seen in Commerce (International) with Chinese Studies which decreased by one point to 397 points.
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The largest decrease in points was in Arts with Music - 3 or 4 years (BMus or Chinese/European/International Pathway) which decreased by 38 points to 302 points while Arts - 3 years remained the same as last year at 300 points.
At Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), 28 of its 45 level 8 courses saw points increase.
14 of the 45 courses saw points decreased with just one course having points unchanged.
Two new or changed courses are on offer for the upcoming year.
Applicants of Music at CIT Cork School of Music, who must also sit an entrance exam, have seen an increase in the course’s points from 633 points to 868 points, an increase of 235.
Popular Music: Electric Guitar at CIT Cork School of Music has increased by 191 points from 647 points to 838 points.
Contemporary Applied Art (Ceramics, Glass, Textiles) at CIT Crawford, has increased by 82 points while Fine Art at CIT Crawford College of Art and Design has increased by 51 points.
Other courses which saw a slight increase in points required in order to gain a place in the first round of offers included Tourism Management which increased slightly by three points while Accounting remained the same at 316 points.
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Out of CIT’s 32 level 7/6 courses, a total of 20 saw an increase in points, while 10 saw a decrease and two were unchanged.
The largest jump in level 7/6 points was for Interior Architecture which increased by 55 points to 308 points from 253 points last year.
The smallest jump in points was for Mechanical Engineering which jumped just one point to 261 points.
The largest decrease was 62 points for Community Development, a decrease from 162 to 100 points followed by Biomedical Engineering which saw a decrease of 52 points from 358 points to 306 points.
Points of 300 for Electrical Engineering and of 240 for Analytical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry remained the same.
Deputy Colm Burke said that Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris informed him “that 332 additional places have been made available in UCC and CIT” which he said he is “particularly pleased about”.
2,225 additional places overall have been provided to help alleviate the impact of the calculated grades.
“The Government funded these additional places to help ease the pressure on the CAO system and I am reassured to see the outcomes seem to show stability with last year,” Deputy Burke said.
“I want to congratulate everyone who received their hoped-for offer. I know like every year some people will be disappointed, but they may yet receive a later offer.
“After so much upheaval, it is very welcome to see thousands more people will get a college place this year than last year. In fact, more students will be admitted to college in the coming weeks than in any previous year,” he said.