Record number of CAO applicants for DCU primary teaching

Fionnuala Walsh

DCU St. Patrick’s Campus received a record number of applications for primary teaching, according to recently released CAO figures.

Over 1,300 students chose a Bachelors of Education as their first choice in the CAO application process.

Across the board the latest data from the CAO shows a 4 per cent increase in first choice application for overall education courses.

First choice applications for primary teaching undergraduate courses are up by 8 per cent, while the number putting second-level education as their first choice has risen by 4 per cent.

There was a total of 72,643 applications to the CAO on the 1st of February, a decrease of 3,443 from last year.

The level 8 degrees which saw the biggest decline in applications were Physical Sciences down by 26 per cent, Environment down by 20 percent, Arts down by 12 per cent and Journalism down by 17 per cent.

Commenting on the increase in applications for primary teaching in St. Patrick’s Campus, lecturer Andrea Cleary from the Arts Education and Movement department said that the demand may be due to its incorporation with DCU.

“The fact now that instead of the college being seen purely as an education college, perhaps there is a greater draw for students to have the wider university appeal,” Cleary said. “There’s bigger choices in terms of  facilities as well.”

When asked if there were enough teaching positions to facilitate the increase in teaching graduates, Cleary said: “Our numbers are controlled by government, so we can only take on a certain number of students.”

“Within our remit we are dictated to by the government, so the government assess the amount of posts that are required and then they release the places that are available across Ireland according to that,” Cleary said.

“The appetite is certainly there and from my experience in art education our students have all been employed within the following year,” she said.

The overall increase in DCU’s Institute of Education also comes from a sharp rise in applications to the Bachelor of Religious Education, which is up 27 per cent and to the secondary teaching  degree programmes, which are up 13 per cent.

Fionnuala Walsh