To make sense of the feed tables, it is important to understand the components. There are two key figures associated with each school listed: the total number of students attending the university this year and the total number of incoming first-year undergraduate students who took the Leaving Cert in 2021.
It is also important to note that the percentage progression rates of Irish secondary schools do not only reflect the success of this year’s Leaving Cert class in securing university places through the OAC.
The percentage shown in the last column is not a “true rate” for each school’s Leaving Cert 2021 class progress through college this year, as it incorporates a number of different elements.
So who are the 49,000 students who make up the new 2021 freshman class? Of the applicants who secured a CAD spot in 2021, 4,825 secured their spot in Round 0 in July, mostly applicants over 23 years of age.
Another 3,533 candidates obtained their places in Round A at the start of August, mainly FE level 5/6 graduates. Another 40,607 candidates from the Leaving Cert class of 2021 and over 12,000 from the last four or five years received and accepted offers in the first round in early September of this year.
Also included in this group of first round offers are applicants from Northern Ireland, the UK, other EU countries and international applicants from around the world.
In figures provided to The Irish Times, each third-level institution includes all incoming first year students who have attended a given school, although up to 25 percent of incoming first years may have taken the Leaving Cert up to 20 years ago.
Each of these students, excluding those who did not take the Leaving Cert in Ireland, are included in the total number of students credited by colleges at each school. We are publishing this issue because that is all CAD colleges are authorized to provide. They are prohibited from indicating how many students in the 2021 class have obtained a place this year.
Of the 49,000 students from the Republic of Ireland who started university in September 2021, we estimate that 75% completed their Leaving Cert in June 2021.
Class of 2021 that progressed through CAO The total number of students enrolled in Leaving Cert who applied for a place through the CAO in 2021 was 48,104.
State Exams Commission (SEC) figures on the number of students who took the Leaving Cert in all schools in 2021 (the SITS) show that 57,952 took the traditional Leaving Cert and 3,173 took the Leaving Cert Applied (LCA).
The SEC provides the Irish Times with this data which enables the publication of the SITS number alongside the name of each school. The combination of this data from the CAO and the SEC shows that 79 per cent of sixth-year students in Irish secondary schools have sought a place among the more than 40 institutions they represent.
The remaining 21% of this year’s Leaving Cert class decided – in consultation with their teachers, guidance counselors, and most importantly, their parents – that applying to OAC was not the best career development option for them. .
As access to accurate data for the CAO application numbers of individual schools themselves is not possible, The Irish Times includes this cohort in the SIT numbers, on which each school’s pass percentage is based.
It should be noted that the fact that 21 percent of students leaving school do not apply for a place in CAO college is not an indication of failure. They may be considering continuing education at an ETB college, which is more appropriate for their career goals.
Each year, thousands of Leaving Cert students take these QQI Level 5 courses at post-Leaving Cert colleges. Many complete them and move on to CAD courses the following year (and are credited to their home school in the data that colleges provide upon enrollment).
To study abroad Another cohort of those 21 percent who do not apply for a CAD place may go outside of Ireland to continue their education. They may also have applied to colleges in Northern Ireland or colleges in the UK.
Over the past 10 years, an increasing number of Irish students have chosen to study at mainland universities in the EU with high international rankings, which offer courses in English.
Over 1,000 Irish undergraduates are currently studying in their first year of undergraduate studies at Dutch universities alone. Many more attend colleges in other EU countries. Again, these students are not credited in their schools for progressing to third level status in the Irish Times charts as we have no data on these students.
Factors influencing the choice of college Each year, the tables show that a very large number of college students attend schools in socially advantaged communities. Data shows that these students tend to opt primarily for universities and teacher training courses.
Data from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) shows that these institutions have the lowest dropout rates (from 4% in teacher training colleges to 9% in universities). Is this surprising, given the support these students receive from their parents?
HEA data also shows that students in schools in less advantaged communities get far fewer places in high-level university courses and tend to progress to institutes of technology or universities of technology.
HEA data shows these students have a harder time completing college, with dropout rates as high as 20 percent common.
Figures from Student Universal Support Ireland (Susi) show that a large portion of successful scholarship applicants go to IT rather than universities, confirming the social divide reflected in the admission of students to institutions.
The progress charts also show how parochial our college choice is and how having a third level college in an area increases the progression rates of students from second level to third level within commuting distance of those colleges.
Unlike the UK, where students tend to choose colleges away from home, Irish students look to local colleges if they can secure a place in the discipline they want. This may reflect the lack of a student loan program that would allow for a wider range of options to be considered and may also reflect the current severe shortage of student housing, with recent reports indicating that up to 10 percent of students are surfing on their sofas or, in some cases, sleeping in cars.
The publication of this data does not pass judgment on a school’s success in helping its students get to college. For schools where both parents of many students have graduated and where they have been supported throughout their studies, securing a place in university is not a big reflection on their school’s success.
Alternatively, we are fully aware that for schools in disadvantaged communities, ensuring progression to the third level even for a small proportion of students reflects highly motivated teachers and is a fantastic achievement.
McManus scholarship program One of the most interesting data regarding the success of schools in supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds across the island of Ireland can be seen in the JP McManus scholarships.
The awards, created in 2008 and valued at € 6,700 per year for each student, are awarded annually to some of Ireland’s top performing students for the duration of their undergraduate degrees, and provide a lifeline of rescue current sixth-year students who fear their families will never be able to afford the exorbitant costs now associated with third-grade attendance.
There is no application process, but eligible students must attend a free school, be exempt from paying the Leaving Certificate fee, and must also take the Leaving Certificate for the first time.
A total of 125 All Ireland scholarships from 32 counties are awarded each year. Over the past 13 years, more than 1,000 successful graduates have already obtained primary and postgraduate degrees through the program.
Why Irish weather publish these graphics given the caveats? The Irish Times publishes these progress charts annually as they are based on data provided by the State Examination Board – total number of ISEs per school and third-level CAO colleges – total number of alumni of each school attending grade one in 2021. While the information provided to us could be more comprehensive, these charts are the only indicator of a school’s academic performance that is publicly available. Third-level colleges point out that the data for this school comes from the State Examination Commission. It is sent to the Central Requests Office, which forwards it to third-level establishments. Since the data is provided to each university for specific administrative purposes, they say they cannot guarantee the accuracy of the data if used for other purposes.
The data provided includes each school in which a candidate took the exam, even if only for one subject.
Therefore, the data will not always reflect the number of students entering a postgraduate college, because in cases where, for example, a candidate has taken the exam twice, that candidate will appear as a statistic in both. establishments and will be doubly listed in the Data. Double counting occurs even when the candidate has repeated the exam at the institution where he took the exam for the first time.