Education Minister Joe McHugh has announced today that the Leaving Cert will be postponed for students. This postponement will have implications for the college entry process, with students entering third level education at a later date than usual. It is understood that the Department of Education aims to have first years receive their college offers as soon as possible.

“We are postponing Leaving Cert examinations to begin in the last week of July or early August, subject to public health advice,” the Minister announced today. “The new Leaving Certificate timetable will be confirmed in early June.”

This comes after the current COVID-19 restrictions have been extended by a further three weeks, as announced by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar today.

The Irish Universities Association (IUA) has made a statement, welcoming the announcement of the revised plans for the Leaving Certificate, and the “clarity this brings for students, their families and their schools.” The statement continues: “Our universities will now work with the CAO and other stakeholders to ensure that new university students can begin their studies as soon as possible after the publication of the 2020 Leaving Certificate results. This work and all planning for the 2020-21 academic year will continue to be guided by the latest public health advice.”

It is not yet clear when freshers will arrive on campus at UCD next year. This news raises questions on a potential delay in Freshers Week to accommodate for the delayed entry for domestic students. A delay in the start of teaching term for Irish students may also delay the beginning of the year for Stage 1 mature students and internationals.

More to follow…


Conor Capplis – Editor