Thousands of Leaving Cert students have received third level offers this afternoon with almost 79,000 round one offers issued by the Central Applications Office (CAO).
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.
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.
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.
Leaving Cert student at Glanmire Community College, Cian Pierce, who has been accepted to study Classics and Politics in UCC said that he believes his grades were an accurate representation of the work he had done over the course of the Leaving Cert cycle.
He said he was “thrilled” to have been accepted to his preferred course and that the hard work had paid off.
“Overall, my peers and I are satisfied. A lot of people think there has been variation of a grade in some subjects but the majority of students felt satisfied with the points they got even if they thought they were downgraded at times.
“Most student's predictions for themselves were fairly close to what they got in the end,” he said.
He said that although he knows there are others who are unhappy with this year's system, that he believes it is a system that “should be kept and refined in case something like this ever happens again”.
Principal of Gaelcholáiste Mhuire, A.G. North Monastery, Dónal Ó Buachalla, said that he was very proud of his 61 Leaving Cert students for whom it was “a tremendously difficult year”.
“It was a tremendously difficult year for all students and families and teachers alike but it's great that they were able to get their Leaving Cert results and move on to the next chapter in their lives,” he said.
Mr Ó Buachalla said that they had a number of high achieving students with one student having received 613 points and a further two receiving 601 but said “people who get high points don't necessarily want to do a high points course”.
“We had a number of students who achieved great results but we’re happy once everyone has achieved their potential and has the opportunity to go onto the choices that they want.
“We had one that got 613 and two others got 601 but they're all going doing computer science which I think is around 448 so people who get high points don't necessarily want to do a high points course.
“We had the first class doing computer science this year in the country, we were part of the pilot group, and of the 10 students six are continuing with either data science and analytics or computer science,” he said.
Principal of Kinsale Community School, Fergal McCarthy, said that from the feedback he has received, “those who wanted to get their first choice in the main they have got them and they are really happy”.
“I’m very grateful to the teachers who made it possible because if the teachers had not cooperated with the grades process then there wouldn't be parents and students celebrating tonight about the prospect of moving onto the next phase of their lives,” he said.
He said that Kinsale Community College which has a total of 176 Leaving Cert students did not predict grades, but rather calculated the grades of its students.
“I really and truly have an issue with the term predicted grades because predicted grades suggests that there’s some form of guesstimation or some form of forecast going on.
“We addressed it from the basis of it being a calculated grade and it was a grade that was calculated relative to students performance in a variety of assessment episodes that had been taken by those students throughout 5th year and 6th year and their pres,” he said.
Mr McCarthy also advised students who may not have received their first choice place to “please reach back to the school and guidance counsellors to obtain additional support because there are more places than there ever was before”.
He highlighted how important it was for students to access third level or access the labour market or further education courses during a recession “because this storm will pass and there will be opportunities for people”.
“While we’re in recession, the best philosophy and best paradigm for people to follow and observe is to invest your time and energy in education and opportunities will flow from it,” he said.