Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Education and Skills
Third Level Admissions
290. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he is taking steps to ameliorate the stress facing leaving certificate students by seeking to expand the number of places at third-level in view of the shortfall in international students seeking to attend. [6407/20]
We understand that this is a time of uncertainty for students hoping to progress to third level and work is ongoing in ensuring that the third level entry process can progress as smoothly and equitably as possible. The National Co-ordination group for tertiary education is meeting on a regular basis, and is closely monitoring the impact that Covid-19 is having on third level institutions and their current and prospective students.
In light of the current public health circumstances, it is difficult to predict the expected international student numbers for next academic year. Much depends on unfolding events such as all available national and international public health advice, particularly in respect of international travel for programmes where a physical presence in Ireland is needed.
Higher education institutions are autonomous with regard to management of their academic affairs including admissions procedures. The CAO processes applications for undergraduate, and some postgraduate, courses on behalf of the HEIs. Decisions on admissions are made by the HEIs which then instruct the CAO to make offers to successful candidates. This remains the case this year, including in the case of any drop in domestic or international enrolments.