Offers for second round places could be scarce

Colleges are making offers to almost 50,000 applicants this morning, but second- round places could be limited.

The 49,862 CAO applicants getting good news today is 454 more than this time last year.

However, with half of the 37,412 level 8 degree offers being on those applicants’ top choice course, a slightly higher proportion of first preferences than a year ago, places in next week’s second-round offers could be scarce.

They are among 28,783 for whom today’s offer is one of their three first- choice level 8 courses from the Central Applications Office (CAO) lists.

Similarly, nearly 80% of people getting an offer on a level 7 or level 6 programme now have the chance to take up their first-choice course, proportionately also up slightly on last year.

Of 35,360 offers under these categories, 28,181 are the students’ first choices and all but 1,875 are the first, second or third preference of the recipient.

The CAO has now made offers to:

*52,546 people submitting Leaving Certificate results (including results from earlier years);

*8,303 mature applicants (aged 23 or over);

*10,656 with further education qualifications;

*5,977 applicants who have previous higher education studies;

*1,099 with GCE and GCSE exam results;

*1,580 people with school leaving qualifications from other countries.

Many applicants are included in more than one of these categories, such as mature students who may also be relying on Leaving Certificate or further education results.

Overall, more than 57,600 people have now been offered a place through the CAO, which filled almost 45,800 places at 43 colleges in 2011.

Many mature students and overseas applicants are among the 9,333 who were offered places in two earlier rounds since last month. Almost 7,000 of them had accepted places ahead of the CAO and colleges considering Leaving Certificate applicants over the past week, almost 150 fewer than last year.

Of the 37,412 places on level 8 degrees offered today, 11,587 or 31% are on the 170-plus arts and social science programmes being filled through the CAO, making it the outright biggest category in the system. In the case of 5,273 of those offer recipients, the course was their first preference.

Other course categories with the biggest number of offers are:

*Business and administration: 7,263 offers (3,675 first preferences);

*Science: 6,512 (2,748 first preferences);

*Engineering and technology: 3,767 (2,335 first preferences);

*Education: 2,043 offers (1,311 first preferences).

The CAO has also offered places today to 500 applicants for medicine degrees, which were listed by 3,024 as their first preference this year. Just 64 of the 1,141 people who listed dentistry as one of their choices are being offered a place on one of the two available courses this morning.


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