CAO points for undergraduate courses at NUI Galway have risen significantly following this year’s Round One Offers.
Points for courses rose across the four colleges on campus as NUI Galway made 3,859 offers to prospective students with 3,500 expected to start this month as first year students.
A massive 65 out of 69 programmes offered at undergraduate level saw an increase in points. Around 30 programmes had an increase of more than fifty points.
Five programmes rose by more than eighty points this year – Arts with Creative Writing from 330 to 421 points, Arts with Journalism from 400 to 484 points, Computer Science & Information Technology from 403 to 495 points, Mechanical Engineering from 454 to 541 points and Podiatry from 443 points to 531 points.
Health, wellbeing, and other science programmes also continue to be in high demand following points increases in recent years. The most notable increase was that of Biomedical Science which rose from 556 points to a record 613 points.
Arts, Commerce, Science and Engineering also saw an increase in points, with Arts rising from 300 to 327 points for the first time.
Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway has congratulated the class of 2021 for demonstrating “remarkable resilience amid the significant challenges of the pandemic and its impact on education.”
President Ó hÓgartaigh also stated that “Our focus in NUI Galway is on safely and sustainably optimising the experience for students, on campus, for the academic year ahead. The health, wellbeing and safety of our staff, students and the wider Galway community is our top priority.”
Clodagh McGivern, Vice President of NUI Galway’s Student Union and Education Officer also offered her congratulations to incoming first year students.
“We’re delighted to have students back on campus and we’re looking forward to meeting all of the new students who accepted their courses in NUI Galway” she stated.
However, McGivern was also shocked to see how much CAO points increased by this year despite record breaking results from Leaving Cert students.
“It was extremely tough to see students left devastated as their courses increased by a significant amount” stated McGivern. “It was shocking to see some students score the highest points possible, still miss out on their course due to demand leaving places to be filled by random selection. I can’t imagine how upsetting this was for those students as they literally could not have done any better or achieved any more than they did.
McGivern also pointed out that students residing in Northern Ireland could only achieve a maximum of 600 points in their own system as the “CAO is a system that is essentially built to discriminate against them as they can’t attend some courses even though they achieved the highest grade they were able to.”
The points inflation, despite approximately 4,600 additional college places being provided for, also showed the inaccessibility of third-level education in Ireland, according to McGivern.
“Third level education was already inaccessible to many students due to the costs associated with it and the points are just another prohibiting factor. The inflation in points and the way students are feeling because of it is ludicrous, it’s just another thing that shows Ireland is no place for young people anymore.
“Hopefully, by next year points will have stabilized if there is an ‘across the board’ approach to how students are examined. Regardless, the government need to examine how they treat the young population in all aspects” McGivern finished.