Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) saw its first-round level 8 offers rise by almost a fifth this year.
CIT President Dr Barry O’Connor said increased course places allowed course cut-off points to remain relatively the same as 2019, despite an increase in grades this year.
First-round level 8 offers increased by 17 percent this year, while there was an increase of six percent in level 6/7 offers.
“From our perspective, we’ve made the best part of well over 500 extra offers this year, compared to previous years,” said Dr O’Connor.
“The whole object behind the increasing offers was down to the desire to not impact people who did the Leaving Cert in 2019 and in previous years," he added.
“The way the system worked out this year, there was an increase in points over previous years - it’s just the way the calculated grades worked out,” he added.
“Because of that, people who did the Leaving Cert in 2019 or previous years might have worried about the points for courses going up.
“The government and Higher Education Authority (HEA) offered to fund extra places right across the sector, in universities and Institutes of Technology (IoTs).
“The CAO works through supply and demand so if we increase the supply, we can try to meet more of that demand.
“Increasing the number of places also resulted in the points being lowered for courses, rather than increased.
“In fairness to the government, they have supplied the funding for these extra places that have given people a better chance of getting the course they want.
“We’ll see how that works out next week in terms of the number of accepted offers.
“There will be people who defer places as well this year and there won’t be as many international students this year as there usually would be, right across the board - that will free up places as well," he said.
Students have until next Wednesday at 3pm to accept offers.
CIT courses in music and engineering, in particular, saw an increase in the number of first round offers issued this year, compared to 2019.
Some 868 first-round offers were made for the ‘Music at CIT Cork School of Music’ (level 8) course, an increase of more than 230 places on last year.
Popular Music courses in electric guitar and electric bass guitar (both level 8) also saw significant increases in offers, rising by more than 190 and 160 respectively since 2019.
Structural Engineering (level 8) saw an increase of 53 offers this year, with 394 first-round offers issued compared to 341 in 2019.
Some 790 offers were issued for the Contemporary Applied Art (Ceramics, Glass, Textiles) course at CIT Crawford (level 8) this year, compared to 708 in 2019.
Meanwhile, offers for the Interior Architecture (level 6/7) increased from 253 in 2019 to 308.
Software development (level 6/7) also saw an increase in offers, rising from 270 offers in 2019 to 307 this year.