On the day 71,000 students in Ireland await the first round of CAO application offers, Trinity College Student Georgie Smithwick has launched coursehub.ie, a website providing independent reviews of third level courses.
“Almost any student will tell you that what is outlined in a prospectus can be very different to the realities of the course or college life. Anyone who has gone through the painstaking decision making process in 6th year will know how difficult it can be to sync your academic strengths and capabilities with your genuine interests and passions,” said Smithwick.
“We have spent the last 10 months building the coursehub.ie website and collecting course and college reviews and critiques from thousands of students throughout the country. We have already received over 10,000 reviews.”
A recent survey by the ESRI has revealed that inappropriate course choices can often lead to the non progression of students through third level education.
The study found that an average of 15pc of new entrants into third level education in Ireland were not present a year later. According to the ESRI up to 80pc of sixth year students said that they would like to have more information than is currently provided, before making a decision about college and career choices.
How coursehub.ie works
“The site contains reviews from students past and present on everything from what Leaving Cert subjects to study, to course content, where to live, the college social scene or lack thereof as well as unexpected issues/surprises which arise during their time at college," Smithwick said.
"So coursehub.ie is not solely focused on those who are waiting with bated breath for the 2011 CAO place offers. It’s targeted at students from the ages of 16 upwards who want to do some research into where they see their academic life taking them in years to come”.
Coursehub.ie allows students to upload reviews although all are moderated before they go live. There is also a forum which allows for discussion threads.
Photo: Georgie Smithwick