Up to 450 students who received their Central Applications Office (CAO) offers for third-level courses in the past month are due to have their offers revised in the coming week. The change follows last week’s announcement that students’ grades would have to be altered due to errors in the Leaving Certificate calculated grades system.

According to The Irish Times, Minister for Higher Education, Simon Harris, met with representatives from the CAO on Monday, to discuss the number of course places which may be needed to accommodate some 450 students who will now be eligible for a new course offering.

A total of 6,100 students who received their original calculated grades in early September will receive upgrades in at least one subject as a result of several coding errors found in the process used to calculate the grades. 

5,408 students are expected to have one of their grades increased, 621 students will have two grades increased by one grade band, while 71 students are set to receive a higher grade in three or more subjects. One student has seen grade increases in 5 subjects. No student will be downgraded as a result of the error.

It is currently unknown whether all students who are due a course ‘upgrade’ will be facilitated to do so in the current semester. However, there is reportedly ‘optimism’ that all students will be allowed to move, as few offers involve high-demand courses such as Medicine. The Irish Times has reported that many of the revised offers will be in ‘Education’ and ‘Teaching courses’, with possibly 100 offers for Technological University Dublin (TUD) alone.

At a press conference last week, Minister for Education, Norma Foley assured students that the Departments of Education and Higher Education would “do everything possible” for students who wish to change courses. Should students be unable to gain access to their course following their new offer, Minister Foley said that the option to defer the place until 2021 would open.

Gemma Farrell – Assistant News Edito