About 76,000 potential college students will find out today what third-level institute has accepted them for study as the first round of CAO offers are eagerly opened this morning.
While the majority of CAO applications come from Ireland’s Leaving Certificate students, today’s round of offers will also be delivered to thousands of second-level students from the UK and Northern Ireland, mature applicants, students with previous third-level qualifications, and students from access programmes, such as Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) and Disability Access Route to Education (DARE).
Arts and social science courses saw the most first preferences at 16,921, followed by administration and business at 11,200, and science at 9,496. The latter two categories saw points rise as competition increases for those sectors seeing steady jobs growth in recent years.
But what’s in store for these future third-level students and what does the current Irish college landscape look like? These 10 statistics from the Higher Education Authority help provide an insight:
1. The average number of students on any degree course is 147
2. Undergraduate students from Dublin’s south side outnumber northsiders by 2:1
Street art by Maser at Kings of Concrete 2011, via Come here to me!
3. There are 2.7 females for every male on education and teaching courses
4. There are 6.6 males for every female on engineering and construction courses
And just one cat – that we know of.
5. There are more than 12,000 full-time students and more than 12,000 part-time students who are more than 30 years of age
And a few much, much older than 30.
6. There are more than 170,000 full-time higher education students, which is about the same size as the combined populations of Sligo, Leitrim and Cavan
7. The greatest number of full-time students from outside Ireland come from the US (more than 2,000) while around 1,000 each come from the UK, China and Malaysia
And this one came from South America.
8. There are more than 3,800 students engaged in online distance learning
9. Last year, 63pc of students were offered and accepted their first place choice on their CAO application
10. There are 180 students in higher education who have their birthday on 29 February
Main college students image by wavebreakmedia via Shutterstock