Local TD Eugene Murphy said that there had been a huge increase in the number of courses being offered at third level under the CAO system in recent years, which has resulted in the CAO system becoming staggeringly complex.
“The universities have admitted that such specialised courses were introduced with the intention of inflating entry points under the CAO system, with the aim of enhancing the perception that their institutions offered prestigious ‘high points’ courses.
“This has perpetuated the fallacy that high points courses are automatically more prestigious. Minister Bruton and the Higher Education Authority need to take a tougher line with third level institutions that have shown themselves unwilling to broaden their entry routes.”
He added that the loss of guidance counselling services “has perpetuated the myth surrounding high points courses”.
“ This is particularly problematic in less advantaged schools where parental contributions and school fees are not available to replace lost funding,” he said.