Irish universities call for Leaving Cert results to be released in late June.
The Irish Universities Association (IUA), which represents the country’s eight universities, said the leaving cert timetable is “no longer fit for purpose” and called to abolish grade inflation in a report sent to the Oireachtas ahead of its education committee meeting in October.
“We propose that students should be in possession of their Leaving Cert results no later than the end of June of any given year. This would allow the CAO to process these results and for offers and acceptances to higher education to be completed before the end of July,” said IUA associate directed general Jim Miley.
He added that the current timeframe, which sees students receive their college offers in August, puts tremendous stress on students and their families, who suddenly learned they would need to move into a new city in just weeks.
“Students and their families have a very short timeframe to find student accommodation”, he said, “while it is also out of line with European countries such as the UK who issued results earlier.”
He highlighted that the Irish system is costing the country international talent at third-level institutions, as international students receive their domestic offers months before getting word from an Irish college, encouraging them to stick with the offers they already have instead of waiting.
Miley also stressed his disapproval of leaving cert grade inflation, which has emerged as a symptom of schools trying to get their students through the leaving cert during covid.
In 2019, just over 200 students achieved a maximum score of six H1 grades. This year, this had grown to 1,342, an increase of more than 600 per cent.
“This has distorted the entry threshold to third level with a particular inequity to applicants presenting results from earlier years,” Miley said.
The IUA’s report to the Oireachtas touched on the topic of mental health as well, saying the heavy-weighting of the final written exams is “far too great” and discriminates against students with additional needs.
The IUA called for “authentic assessment” for all subjects over three years that better reflect the learning capabilities of students.
The IUA says it hopes changes are made in time for Leaving Cert 2022.
Devin Sean Martin